History, culture & writing

Explore History, Culture & Writing

Explore our extraordinary range of History, Culture and Writing courses and lectures. We offer both introductory and specialist in-depth courses to suit all levels of interest and experience, from ‘How to read a film’ and World literature, to Creative non-fiction writing courses and American history and Politics courses.

Study in-person at City Lit or offsite, or online from the comfort of home, with interactive classes that allow you to participate in discussions with fellow adult students. We offer daytime, evening and weekend courses, both short and long. For more information on our online courses, please see our guide to online learning.

Our tutors are experts in their fields and experienced educators; many have published, teach in universities or share their expertise in the media. Tutors share their knowledge and passion through presentations, readings, interactive discussion and exercises, analysis, and other activities.

Many students return to take more courses, telling us they enjoy being part of our City Lit Learning community.

Our popular courses often sell out quickly, so we invite you to browse and book your place now.

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  1. Writing for magazines
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Get inspired to write on this practical course for freelance journalists and bloggers. Learn to carry out research, interview people, pitch and publish stories, and build your presence on social media.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  2. Saints, scholars, sportsmen and soldiers: How religion, politics, education, sports and war shaped Irish identity: 1884-1922
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 4 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Ireland has always been a divided nation and a part from religion, other issues that divided the country were politics, education, sport and wars. This course explores Irish history from 1884 until War of Independence and the creation of Northern Ireland in 1922.



    This course forms the second part of an accessible ‘beginners guide’ to Irish history and will help participants gain a general overview of the development of mid-Victorian Ireland from an island ruled by England to the creation of Northern Ireland and the Irish Free state in 1922.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £57.00
  3. Writing a memoir (continuation)
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 5 Nov 2021 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Some moments in our lives are so powerful they beg to be shared with the world. This continuation course guides students in developing a memoir project that will resonate and inspire.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  4. Creative writing for learners with dyslexia (SpLD)
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 10 Jan 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Want to have a go at creative writing in a supportive environment? This course is designed to help you tap into your creativity and find your unique writing voice. Suitable for beginners and those with some experience of creative writing who identify as having dyslexia.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00
  5. Writing non-fiction for children: an introduction
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Learn how to write children’s non-fiction on this exciting and interactive course encompassing classic fact book, biography and narrative. You will also get an opportunity to practise and get some feedback on your writing.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00
  6. The present and the past in historical fiction: Maggie O’Farrell, Pat Barker and Sara Collins
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Why are we drawn to historical fiction? What do we want to discover? This course investigates historical fiction written in the twenty-first century and how it reimagines past societies for contemporary readers. Reading novels and selected extracts, we’ll explore the strategies, pleasures and challenges of historical fiction: how it can bring unknown lives into the light and ask us to think again about the present. Includes The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell, The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker and The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £79.00
  7. Transports of delight: London's railway stations
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Mixed Mode (Online and Onsite) (other locations are available)

    London's stations see over 1 billion journeys annually, but the buildings themselves are often ignored. Explore a different station and environs each week, discovering the architecture, history, stories and future of these lifelines of London.



    The course starts with an initial zoom lecture followed by a series of walking tours. The course starts with an initial zoom lecture followed by a series of walking tours.



    This course will be delivered online and onsite. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £74.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  8. Reading for writers: feminist fiction (a fortnightly course)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    The landscape of feminist fiction is rich and multifaceted. In this course we'll explore just a small fragment to learn what lessons authors of feminist works can teach budding writers of fiction. We'll read novels by Doris Lessing, Bernardine Evaristo, Meiko Kawakami, and more. We'll analyse, discuss, and use these works to inspire and develop our own fiction. You will need to come to the first class having read the short works 'Woman at Point Zero' by Nawal El Saadawi, 'The Yellow Wallpaper' by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00
  9. Getting away with murder: how to write crime fiction
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Want to write a murder mystery that will knock readers dead? On this course you'll learn how to plot a murder most horrid and develop your writing to create maximum suspense.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  10. Writing a memoir: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 24 Sep 2021 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Some moments in our lives are so powerful they beg to be shared with the world. This course will help you plan and craft a memoir that will resonate and inspire.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  11. Scottish history: Soccer and sectarianism in Scotland 1867-1918
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    The development of football in Scotland from 1867 to the end of the Great War occurred against a background of growing and hardening sectarianism. The reasons why these themes were intertwined are studied, analysed, evaluated and explained.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £57.00
  12. Reading for writers: great plays (a fortnightly course)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 19 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Imitation is more than just a form of flattery - it's a tool to discover your own writing craft! Delve into a series of famous playscripts, appreciating their mechanics and the unique approaches they use to represent the world. Then apply the insights gained to your own writing through in-class exercises.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £52.00
  13. Film of the Book
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 25 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    We will read works of fiction and view their cinematic transformations, developing an understanding of plot,



    characterisation and narrative in a film making context. Each session includes analysis and discussion of the literary



    text and an opportunity to view and consider the film.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £79.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  14. America in the 70s: culture and society
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 25 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Journey through the history, literature, film, music and art of the 70s, an era of economic struggle and cultural change. While America continued to reflect aspects of 60s social upheaval, a more energised 'New Right' was emerging in defense of political conservatism and the traditional family, schisms that still exist today. We investigate the cross currents across the many facets of the 70s through a 'taster' of each subject area.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £91.00
  15. Norse code: deciphering the Viking age
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 3 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    This interdisciplinary course provides a brief overview of the Viking Age (c. 750-1100 CE) by exploring medieval texts, place-names, and artefacts from a variety of perspectives and themes.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £57.00

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