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. Advanced poetry workshop
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 23 Sep 2021 (and 5 other dates)

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

    Develop your poetry, taking it in new directions and maturing your poetic voice. Various approaches and techniques will be explored, and new poetry can be workshopped. For experienced poets only.



    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
  2. The Emperor of Ice Cream: why Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore and Frank O'Hara are important
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    We will explore the work of these three major 20th century American poets, focussing on what is original about their work and how they changed people’s understanding of what is possible in poetry. We will look at how their poetry developed over their writing lifetimes, how they saw their work in relation to the poetry of the past and present, and how their poetry reflected or otherwise gave meaning to their lives – Stevens as a lifelong insurance lawyer, Moore as an unmarried woman without a profession and living with her mother, and O’Hara as an art curator as out-gay as it was possible to be until his untimely death in 1960.



    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 £159.00 Concession £97.00
  3. Writing non-fiction for children: an introduction
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022 (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
  4. Advanced fiction writing workshop
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021 (and 8 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. Reading for writers: feminist fiction (a fortnightly course)
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 11 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
  6. 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
  7. Advanced playwriting
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021 (and 2 other dates)

    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
  8. 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
  9. Stuart London 2: 1660-1714
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Explore London's history between the restoration of 1660 and the end of the Stuart dynasty in 1714. How did these decades impact on London and its people? Through war, plague and fire, London survived and grew to a new architectural elegance.



    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 £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £88.00
  10. 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
  11. Masterclass: poetry (a one-term intensive workshop)
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021 (and 2 other dates)

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

    This intensive poetry masterclass is open by selective application to a maximum of ten students. You will receive inspiring tutor instruction and rigorous constructive feedback on your poems as you prepare them for publication and performance.



    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:
    100% of 100
  12. Romantic Visions
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    This literature course will trace the development of the Romantic shift in sensibility, from the rediscovery of medieval ballads – and the lucrative trade in fakes – in the late 18thC, to the first generation of Romantics such as Wordsworth and Coleridge ,who set English poetry on a new course by declaring that poetry was not the cleverly crafted expression of accepted truth but “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling”; to the brilliant second generation of poets such as Keats and Shelley who found new areas of the imagination to explore; to its legacy in later centuries and our own time.



    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 £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £121.00
  13. 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.



    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
  14. Philosophy and memory
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    What is memory? How does memory impact our sense of self and time? Why does memory often go wrong? If our memory is unreliable, can it provide knowledge of our personal past? What is collective memory? This course explores memory from philosophical and psychological perspectives.



    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
  15. Autobiographical writing
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Whether writing for self-discovery, testimony or to tell your story, this term-long course explores how to ensure your autobiographical work is both evocative and powerful.



    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

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