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.

Some of our courses take place in the classroom — learn more about Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit.

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  1. Television screenwriting: a taster
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 8 Jan 2022 (and 1 other date)

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

    Do you want to write for an ongoing TV programme or pitch your own idea for a television series one day? Start your screenwriting journey on this practical short course.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
  2. Being and beauty: the philosophy of Japanese aesthetics
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 10 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Not something apart from everyday life but intrinsic to it, beauty in Japanese thought does not entail perfection but the surprise of imperfect and transient being.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £30.00
  3. Picture book writing
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 5 Mar 2022 (and 8 other dates)

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

    Would you like to write a picture book text for young children? This course is designed for children's writers and for illustrators wishing to write their own stories; a starter course to develop both your ideas and your technique.



    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:
    99% of 100
  4. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021 (and 12 other dates)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Fit creative writing into your busy day: a relaxed, informal rolling programme for writers of all levels of experience who enjoy being thrown new ideas and experimenting with poetry and prose.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £40.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  5. The essay - academic writing
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    A crash course in essay writing – beginnings, middles and ends. Suitable for students on A level and access courses or undergraduates.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £40.00
    Rating:
    91% of 100
  6. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Course start date:  Tue 2 Nov 2021 (and 11 other dates)

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

    Not sure whether creative writing is for you? Give it a try on one of these fun and supportive short courses covering the basics of fiction and poetry. Increase your confidence and produce work through guided exercises and discussion.



    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:
    94% of 100
  7. Reading images: an introduction to film studies
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    This comprehensive introductory course provides an overview of the main historical, technical and theoretical aspects of filmmaking and film analysis.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £54.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  8. Where is the future? An introduction to the philosophy of time
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Time is a familiar and fundamental part of our lives - we count down the minutes until lunch, we schedule meetings, we set alarms - and yet few subjects have proven as mysterious and elusive. This course will explore some of the key questions that have preoccupied philosophers and scientists for thousands of years.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £39.00
  9. City of words: further adventures
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    London luxuriates in literary references. We follow the footsteps of the authors, poets and playwrights, and some of their creations, as we walk a brand new neighbourhood each week, exploring the literary connections.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £44.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  10. Craft focus: character in fiction (advanced techniques)
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 15 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    In fiction, character and plot are inseparable elements of craft. Without characters in stories there can be no action, and without characters acting there can be no plot. In this advanced short course you'll deepen your understanding of how to develop characters that can drive a narrative forward and deepen its themes.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
  11. Mirror on the wall: an introduction to philosophy through art
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 15 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course rearranges the cultural kitchen – placing Picasso beside Plato, Rubens beside Rousseau and Monet beside Montaigne – to ask questions of universal urgency: the value of pleasure, the limits of judgement and what it means to be human.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £63.00 Concession £35.00
    Rating:
    60% of 100
  12. Contemporary Poetry by Writers of Colour
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 15 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Black, indigenous, and writers of colour have been creating exceptional poetry for millennia, but all too often their work is not platformed or canonised in the same fashion as their European contemporaries. This course seeks to continue the decolonising work of addressing that imbalance by foregrounding the poetry of four contemporary poets of colour: Claudia Rankine, Ocean Vuong, Danez Smith and Rupi Kaur.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00
  13. Write a short story in a weekend
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 22 Jan 2022 (and 5 other dates)

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

    Turn your great idea into a short story on this fun practical course. Through a series of inspiring exercises, you'll be introduced to some key fiction writing techniques and encouraged to draft a short story from beginning to end. Suitable for beginners who are comfortable learning at a fast pace. Please note: this course has a 2-hr break each session from 12:30-14:30.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £40.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  14. Literary essay workshop
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 22 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    A two-day workshop on writing the literary essay.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
  15. Ghetto uprising 1943: Jewish life and death in Warsaw
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 22 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    In April 1943, some 40,000 starving people were still incarcerated in terrible conditions within the Warsaw Ghetto. A few hundred among them – predominantly young people – led an armed rebellion against the Nazis. This course conveys the incredible story of their uprising but also reveals the background of Warsaw's vibrant but increasingly endangered Jewish life in the decades before the uprising. It describes the many forms of resistance that took place after the Nazi invasion, highlights key individuals who played a role, and provides an opportunity to reflects on different aspects of this tragic but inspiring episode during the Holocaust.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £30.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100

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