History, culture & writing

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 writing creative non-fiction and American history and politics.

Study 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, 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 online now.

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  1. Writing poetry: experiments in chance and choice
    ONLINE,Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 31 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore interesting, off-beat and diverse approaches to generating verse on this one-day course. Try out cut-ups, found lines, experiments in meter and rhyme, and much more.



    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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. Craft focus: grammar, syntax and style for creative writers - a taster
    ONLINE,Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 31 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Learn how and why the rules and conventions of language matter in this new taster course, which combines creative writing with opportunities to learn/revise essential points of grammar and useful literary concepts. Suitable for beginning writers looking to build confidence, and those with more experience who would like to practise these essential skills. This course will have a 2-hr break 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 £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £28.00
  3. Creating your author platform online
    ONLINE,Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 31 Jul 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Increasingly publishers are looking for an author with an impressive online presence, as well as a sparkling manuscript. In this workshop, you'll learn how to start and grow your author brand, gain a following and build a readership for your future titles.



    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
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  4. Writing journeys – in collaboration with the British Museum
    ONLINE,Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 31 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    In partnership with the British Museum’s exhibition on "Thomas Becket: the murder and making of a saint", we’ll be exploring the concepts of journeys, travel and pilgrimages. Through a combination of close readings and creative exercises, you’ll be invited to consider your own physical, spiritual and creative journeys as inspiration for your writing.



    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
  5. Writing memoir: a taster
    Evening,ONLINE
    Course Date:  Mon 2 Aug 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you have a personal story to tell that will move, delight, stir and inform readers? This short course guides students in planning and crafting a memoir.



    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
  6. Jump start your play
    ONLINE,Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 14 Aug 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Have you got a script idea but not yet put pen to paper? Or a script you started long ago but never finished? This intensive short course is like a dramaturgy bootcamp. You’ll inject some new energy into your idea – and get a headstart at writing it. A perfect motivator to finally fulfill those playwriting resolutions, suitable only for those with playwriting experience.



    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
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  7. How to write a short story
    Evening,ONLINE
    Course Date:  Mon 19 Jul 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Through a series of inspiring and practical exercises, you'll be encouraged to tap into your imagination and draft a short story from beginning to end in four days.



    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
  8. Dressing up: stories about clothes, identity and social class
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Tue 24 Aug 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    A Pierrot costume, the wrong party dress, a pair of white kid gloves – these items of clothing enable Colette, Virginia Woolf and Elizabeth Bowen to explore large themes within short stories; for Pauline Melville and Tessa Hadley two very different jackets have rich tales to tell. Join author and lecturer Lynn Knight for a lively and engaging discussion about the meaning of clothes and the power of the short story.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £30.00
  9. A taste of philosophy
    ONLINE,Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 24 Jul 2021 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Have you ever wondered what philosophy is? What do philosophers talk about? Can they tell you the meaning of life or is it just jargon and navel gazing? Come along and find out.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  10. In the footsteps of London's rebels
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Tue 14 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore London's places of protest and discover the stories of radicals, agitators and campaigners who fought for social justice, equal rights and better lives for all from the 1790s to the 1930s.



    A series of virtual guided tours.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £105.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  11. London at war
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Tue 14 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    London has been shaped by war, conflict and unrest. Its buildings, monuments and even street names reflect our



    embattled past. These illustrated lectures examine London's wartime legacy from mediaeval fortifications to the War on Terror.



    London guide: Eleanor Jackson.



    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 £119.00 Concession £66.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  12. World Fiction: hidden treasures
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Wed 15 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Freshly translated or newly rediscovered gems of international writing from the second half of the 20th century, including The Waiting Years by Fumiko Enchi (Japan), Snow Country by Kawabata, The Coffer Dams by Kamala Markandaya (India/Britain), The Island by Ana Maria Matute (Spain), and The Moon and the Bonfires by Cesare Pavese (Italy).



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £121.00
  13. Novels of Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre, Shirley & Villette
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Wed 15 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This online Literature course focuses on Charlotte Bronte’s three major novels: Jane Eyre, Shirley and Villette. We will develop an appreciation of Bronte’s narrative methods and concerns through close analysis of her language, alongside engaging with the literary, historical and critical contexts of these novels, and the Bronte ‘mythology’ itself.



    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 £103.00 Concession £79.00
  14. The men who built London
    ONLINE
    Course Date:  Thu 16 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    London was shaped by its architects, engineers, bricklayers, navies etc. These lectures will examine London’s



    buildings and the men (and women) who worked throughout history to create this eclectic and wonderful city.



    London guide: Eleanor Jackson.



    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 £119.00 Concession £66.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  15. Film studies taster
    Evening,ONLINE
    Course Date:  Thu 16 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Learn how to evaluate and discuss films while enjoying a working example of a City Lit film studies class.



    We will view clips from a wide variety of films, exploring themes and technique in British cinema and modern American cinema. There will be a chance to review term one film courses at City Lit (September - December 2021).



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £6.00

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