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 for children: a taster
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 3 Jul 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Develop your ideas for children's stories in this practical and interactive short course. Topics will include plot, characterisation and viewpoint, and how to approach the children's publishing industry today.

    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:
    89% of 100
  2. City Riverside: Cannon Street to Blackfriars
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 6 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Since the City opened up its river path, the lesser known north bank of the Thames between Blackfriars and Cannon Street stations and beyond provides fabulous views of Bankside and on the City side you discover a hidden monument to Shakespeare, several historic Livery Halls, colourful mosaics at an ancient landing place, an art nouveau decorated pub, a famous boys’ school and more!

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £13.00
  3. Spies in Modern Literature: John Le Carre, Javier Marias & Graham Greene
    Course Date:  Thu 8 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    How relevant is spy literature in the 21st century? How has it evolved? This course will consider the complex narrative enticements of two acclaimed masters of the genre operating at the high end between popular entertainment and serious art form, and revisit a classic text from the 1970s whose psychological realism and moral questioning still resonate with us today.

    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
  4. The Unsettled Imagination: exploring Gothic literature
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 12 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Eerie atmospherics; fear; curses; nightmares; confused perceptions; a damsel in distress; a brooding, fallen hero; creaking staircases in seemingly deserted, rain-lashed mansions. Gothic fiction is seen as full of stereotypes. It is actually complex, brilliant, and related to contemporary real-world shenanigans. This course considers classic 18th-19th Century Gothic writing.

    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 £79.00 Concession £48.00
  5. Ways into poetry: an introduction
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 12 Jul 2021 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Are you just starting to write poetry? This inspiring short course offers an opportunity to experiment with language and a variety of poetic devices. Discover the key elements of a poem in a friendly and interactive class.

    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:
    100% of 100
  6. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 12 Jul 2021 (and 5 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Want to have a go at creative writing in a supportive atmosphere? Join this introductory course. Guided exercises will give you the tools to explore language creatively and find your own writing voice.

    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:
    93% of 100
  7. Creative non-fiction: an introduction
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 3 Jun 2021 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    This short introductory course explores the core elements of creative non-fiction across genres such as travel writing, the personal essay and life writing. On this course you will start to produce your own works of creative non-fiction.

    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
  8. Greek myths: ancient truths, modern mystery
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 13 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Myth permeated all aspects of ancient society and much the same can be said today. Investigate the relevance and perseverance of the Greek myth and why these tales continue to fascinate.

    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 £59.00 Concession £36.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  9. Writing the personal: autobiographical theatre
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 15 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Learn how to select and shape your own life experiences into a dynamic text for live performance on this supportive online course. Suitable for those with some experience of creative 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
  10. Picture book writing
    Course Date:  Mon 31 May 2021 (and 4 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    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. 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 £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £40.00
    Rating:
    99% of 100
  11. Bruce Chatwin: persona, storytelling and literary style
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 19 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Through close readings of Chatwin’s ground-breaking travel books In Patagonia (1977) and The Songlines (1987), alongside extracts from letters, biographies and other sources, we will explore and analyse the techniques that created one of the most important and controversial literary figures of the twentieth century.

    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 £79.00 Concession £48.00
  12. Autobiographical writing: getting started
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 19 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Whether writing for self-discovery, testimony or to tell your story, learn how to get started and what's involved in autobiographical writing. Explore various resources from diaries to dreams, memories and fantasy.

    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
  13. How to write a short story
    Evening
    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
  14. Craft focus: writing a strong story opening
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 19 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    To get your reader’s attention, a great opening is essential. But do you pique their interest with a quirky phrase? Explode your story into action? Or build slow-burning intrigue? Find the perfect start for your story with this fun, interactive course. Suitable for those interested in writing short fiction and novels.

    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. Introduction to Graphic Novels
    Course Date:  Tue 20 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    In 2018, Nick Drnaso’s graphic novel Sabrina was long listed for the Man Booker Prize leading to renewed discussion about the graphic novel and its relationship to the novel form. In this course, we will discuss how graphic novels, or ‘narratives of sequential art’, have developed into a literary and cultural form over the latter half of the twentieth century and into the current day.

    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

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