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.

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of courses allowing you to choose between online and in-person learning. All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, you’ll receive the same great City Lit experience. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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.

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  1. Art history taster
    Course start date:  Fri 10 Feb 2023 (and 15 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Curious about art history? Join us for this taster session where we explore different ways into visual art and its histories, from the ancient to the contemporary.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  2. A taste of creative writing
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 18 Feb 2023 (and 11 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Sophie McKenzie
    Give creative writing a try on this fun and supportive online short course. Ideal if you want to express yourself but need help in getting started. Guided exercises will encourage you to experiment and unlock your imagination.



    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 £35.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  3. A taste of poetry
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 3 Feb 2023 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Julie Irigaray
    This short, fun taster course is the perfect starting point for students who are writing for the first time or new to the poetry path. Join us for thought-provoking writing exercises and poetry theory for beginners.



    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 £35.00
    Rating:
    85% of 100
  4. Autobiographical writing: an introduction
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Feb 2023 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julie Garton
    This short course explores the basic elements of writing autobiography drawing on memories, diaries, photos, dreams and fantasies with a focus on the forms of autobiography, memoir and the personal essay.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £65.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  5. How to Read a Film: A Beginners' Guide to Cinema
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Feb 2023 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    This course will develop your critical appreciation of the cinema by teaching you how to read and understand film texts. We will look at the elements that underpin film form – narrative, mise en scène, cinematography, editing and sound – alongside its historical development. We will consider film style by exploring classical, post-classical and art cinema and we will examine influential critical modes of analysis, such as genre, authorship and spectatorship.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £71.00
    Rating:
    87% of 100
  6. Picture book writing: advanced
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023 (and 5 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Would you like to workshop, edit and polish your picture book texts for young children? This course is designed for advanced picture book writers wishing to hone their skills and improve their own stories.



    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 £80.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  7. Ways into creative writing: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Feb 2023 (and 11 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Claire Collison
    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 £65.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  8. What's the Big Idea?: classic and contemporary short stories
    Course start date:  Mon 13 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Richard Niland
    Read and discuss celebrated short stories over six weeks – discuss and explore what we understand might be the



    writers’ intentions, and what it means for us as readers – which can be quite different. Join us in sharing feelings



    about, and reactions to, a selection of classic and contemporary short stories and how they withstand the shifting context of readers, and time.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  9. Ways into creative writing: a gentle pace
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Feb 2023 (and 4 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Sarah Leipciger
    Are you brand new to creative writing? Do you want to build your confidence in a supportive environment alongside other beginners? This gentle short-course guides students taking their first steps on the path to becoming a creative writer.



    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 £45.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  10. Ways into poetry: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 23 Feb 2023 (and 5 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Sarah Westcott
    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 £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £55.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  11. Picture book writing
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 13 Feb 2023 (and 9 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Andrew Weale
    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 £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £50.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  12. Write a short story in a weekend
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 25 Feb 2023 (and 6 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Vicky Grut
    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.



    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 £50.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  13. Autobiography into fiction: a taster
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 18 Feb 2023 (and 4 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Vicky Grut
    Learn how to turn real-life experiences into gripping fiction in this fun short course for fiction writing beginners and experienced writers. Develop your writing skills and explore techniques for transforming personal stories into strong narratives. This course has a 2-hr break (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 £35.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  14. Advanced academic writing: year 3 undergraduate and beyond
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 25 Feb 2023 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Anne Wilson
    Explore the building blocks and strategies for good academic writing at postgraduate level. Ideal for those studying or contemplating academic writing beyond undergraduate studies.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
  15. Creative non-fiction: an introduction
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 15 Feb 2023 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Claire Collison
    This short introductory course explores the core elements of creative non-fiction across genres such as travel writing, the personal essay and life 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 £65.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100

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