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 fiction
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Lovers of fiction can develop their creative writing skills on this practical intermediate course. You'll explore the fundamentals of fiction writing craft such as character and structure, and unlock your imagination to produce compelling prose. Suitable for those with some creative writing experience.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £84.00
    Rating:
    86% of 100
  2. Phenomenology: an introduction
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Phenomenology, one of the most influential approaches in contemporary philosophy, asks: how do we constitute experienced reality? Following Husserl and Heidegger, phenomenologists try to understand what it means, if anything, to be in the world.



    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 £146.00
    Rating:
    85% of 100
  3. Key texts of 19th & 20th century drama: Ibsen, Wilde, Williams and Stoppard
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course will explore the concerns,styles and influences of 4 key dramatic texts from the late 19th and 20th centuries and how they reflect the times in which they were written. Texts studied include Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen, The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, A Streetcar named Desire by Tennessee Williams and Travesties by Tom Stoppard.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £134.00
  4. Advanced fiction writing workshop
    Last Few Places, Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021 (and 3 other dates)

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

    For experienced writers, this supportive but rigorous workshop offers the perfect opportunity to develop your novel or short story. Receive in-depth feedback and benefit from detailed group discussions on the art of fiction.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £219.00 Concession £88.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  5. New Hollywood, New Wave
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    The film world was breathless with excitement by 1963 but Hollywood had fallen behind the rest of the world and everyone was going to the latest French or Italian films. Exactly four years later Time magazine’s cover story was “The New Hollywood.” How this happened, how Hollywood suddenly went from losing millions on bloated spectacles like Cleopatra to producing smart, talked-about pictures like The Graduate, Badlands and Bonnie and Clyde — how Old Hollywood became the New Hollywood — is the subject of this course.



    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 £146.00
  6. Chinese philosophy in a nutshell
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    There is great richness of thinking in Chinese Philosophy. From the nature of nature to the human condition, Chinese thinkers offer much to ponder.



    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 £42.00
  7. Developing your poetry
    Last Few Places, Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    For those familiar with the basics of poetic form, this intermediate course explores craft and content through reading exercises, writing exercises and constructive feedback. Ideal if you have already attended 'Ways into poetry'.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £84.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  8. Great Historical Novels
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Historical fiction is enjoying a boom. Authors are recreating ancient Rome, Tudor England, medieval Europe and Civil War America while writing prequels and sequels to Homer and Jane Austen. We’ll be reading and discussing some classics of the genre from Mary Renault’s admired evocation of ancient Greece The King Must Die to novels by Alice Walker and James Meek and Virginia Woolf’s Orlando.



    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
  9. Advanced playwriting
    Last Few Places, Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Dive deeper into the key elements of writing for the theatre, gain fresh critical insight into your own writing, and produce a new draft of your work. This online course is designed for experienced playwrights who have work in-progress.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £219.00 Concession £88.00
  10. The essay - academic writing
    Last Few Places, Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    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
  11. Masterclass: fiction (a one-term intensive workshop)
    Last Few Places, Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This intensive online fiction workshop is open by selective application to a maximum of ten fiction writers working at the advanced and professional levels.The deadline for applications is Sunday 22nd August.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £339.00 Senior fee £339.00 Concession £339.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  12. Writing fantasy stories
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Build fantastical worlds, fill them with compelling characters and learn how to structure innovative plotlines in this perfect introduction for those with a passion for fantasy.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £84.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  13. Poetry cooked and raw: from Emily Dickinson to the Beat Poets
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    We will explore how poets changed during the 20th century from writing in formal ‘poetic’ language and regular forms towards writing in more natural language, freer forms and with more direct expression of feelings. We will look at free verse, political poetry, the Beat Poets, confessional poetry and prose poetry.



    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 £146.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  14. Developing your novel
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Have you started work on your novel? This course is suitable for experienced creative writers who want to make progress with a novel draft. Learn more about the art of novel writing and move your project forward in a supportive workshop environment.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £84.00
    Rating:
    91% of 100
  15. The Victorian novel: Realism and early Modernism
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This is a chance to explore four Victorian texts from the point of view of context, style and the development of the novel through realism into early modernism. Texts will include Adam Bede (George Eliot), Wives and Daughters (Elizabeth Gaskell), Dr jekyll and Mr Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson) and The Turn of the Screw (Henry James). There will be supplementary critical and biographical material supplied, and plenty of opportunities for discussion! This course will examine the debates which surrounded the development of Victorian fiction and the ways in which different writers sought to engage with these ideas.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00

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