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. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Introduction to Graphic Novels
    Evening
    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
  5. Ancient Greek poetry reading group (in translation)
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 21 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey are still well-loved, but other archaic Greek poets’ surviving works are equally fascinating. Explore the world and works of Hesiod, Archilochus, Sappho, Pindar and others.

    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
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  6. How to write a novel
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 26 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course deals with all aspects of novel writing technique and prose style. Ideal for fiction writers about to begin a novel or those with a novel at early draft stage.

    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
  7. Writers of the New Yorker
    Course Date:  Wed 28 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Over three weeks we explore the work of three writers from The New Yorker. We think about the history of the magazine and look at the writing of three of its best-known women: Maeve Brennan, Lillian Ross, and Janet Malcolm.

    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 £49.00 Concession £30.00
  8. Cultural History and Politics
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 29 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    What is Britishness in relation to race, ethnicity, and nation, how has it been presented in film, image and museums, and why is this important? In this course, we explore these question through several examples in the form of posters, cartoons, photographies, films and museum exhibitions.

    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 £30.00
  9. Film Noir to Neo Noir: the long hot summer
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 2 Aug 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    'Body Heat', 'Chinatown', 'The Long Goodbye'. Three films, two sessions, one topic: neo-Noir.

    Film noir first appeared in Hollywood in the early 1940s then vanished in the late 50's. Neo-noir was the 70's revival of film noir, updating the themes of political corruption and darkness at the top. Raymond Chandler’s Marlowe would not feel out of place in Chinatown or southern Florida’s 'Body Heat'. A dark and deadly dream of a nightmare vision for a post-Watergate America.

    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 £49.00 Concession £30.00
  10. Ways into creative writing: intensive
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 3 Aug 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Are you brand new to creative writing? Do you want to build your confidence in a supportive online environment alongside other beginners? This faster-pace 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 £36.00
  11. Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs: an introduction for complete beginners
    Evening
    Course Date:  Fri 7 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This four-week course uses British Museum objects related to ancient Egypt to provide a foundation in the writing of hieroglyphs. The class will be held online.

    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
  12. Documentary Thrillers: a new genre
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 10 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Documentaries can be every bit as entertaining and suspenseful as a Hitchcock thriller. What happens next, whose side are we on? The Insider and Dark Waters are suspense films based on shocking historical events but recent documentaries Touching the Void and Searching for Sugar Man are equally gripping thrillers. For Sama is a documentary and Capernaum a fiction film but both share the neorealism of Bicycle Thieves.

    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
  13. Ways into screenwriting
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 19 Apr 2021 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Learn to write for the screen on this practical, introductory course. Writing exercises, presentations and screenings will teach you key skills, and you’ll begin to produce work and an outline for a full-length project.

    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:
    94% of 100
  14. Starting your novel
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 19 Apr 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Got a great idea for a novel? Jump start your project in this supportive course that covers craft basics such as character and plot. Ideal for writers of fiction with some experience who have an idea for a novel.

    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:
    94% of 100
  15. The 60 minute writer
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 20 Apr 2021 (and 5 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    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 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

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