History, culture & writing

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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. Focus on: Lucian Freud - paint as flesh
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 29 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Lucian Freud was a key figure in British Art for nearly seventy years. Uncompromising, ferociously unsentimental with a “cruel” gaze – a realist or painter of the truth? Explore Freud’s fascinating career through his paintings, etchings and drawings.



    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 £55.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. The French Resistance during the Second World War
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 3 Dec 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Sebastien Ardouin
    Behind the post-war myth, what was the French Resistance? Who resisted against Nazi occupation and the collaborationist Vichy regime, and why? How did de Gaulle emerge as its leader and used it to strengthen his power?
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  3. Craft focus: voice in fiction
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 3 Dec 2022 (and 2 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Tasha Kavanagh
    All fiction must have a 'voice,' a complex mix of elements that, together, give the piece its unique identity. Learn what 'voice' really means in fiction and how to develop a voice for your story that can capture the attention of readers.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  4. Jump start your play
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 3 Dec 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Brian Mullin
    Have you got a script idea but not yet put pen to paper, or a script you started but never finished? This intensive short course will help you inject new energy into your idea – and get started writing. Only suitable for those with playwriting experience.



    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:
    98% of 100
  5. Writing great child characters
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 3 Dec 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sophie McKenzie
    Write your way to compelling and convincing child characters that truly connect with your readers, in this fun, interactive course.



    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
  6. Autobiography into fiction: a taster
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 3 Dec 2022 (and 4 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Nick Barlay
    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 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
  7. Londinium (Roman London 47-457 CE)
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 3 Dec 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Jill Hummerstone
    A look through archaeology at the spectacular rise and fall of Londinium from c. AD 47 to its abandonment in c. AD 457. Includes a classroom session which is followed by a guided walk to some of the best Roman sites and landscape within the centre of Londinium.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £45.00
  8. Craft focus: how to edit your story (fiction and non-fiction)
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 4 Dec 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Lucy Popescu
    Editing is an essential skill for any writer. Learn the different types of editing processes and how to polish your own prose in this useful workshop for writers. Suitable for those with some experience of creative writing.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  9. Write a short story in a week
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 5 Dec 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Yvonne Singh
    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 £40.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  10. Picture book writing: a taster
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 5 Dec 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Andrew Weale
    Find out more about writing a picture book text in this practical and interactive, short taster session.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  11. Study day: Monet & Impressionism
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 10 Dec 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Rachel Sanders
    Explore the Impressionist movement, focusing on Monet as its key example, considering such issues as biography, social change, artistic influences, material developments and stylistic progress. Includes visit to the National Gallery.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  12. A taste of creative writing
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 10 Dec 2022 (and 9 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Henry Martin
    Give creative writing a try on this fun and supportive 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.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00
    Rating:
    95% of 100
  13. Ways into screenwriting: a taster
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 7 Jan 2023 (and 3 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Clive Ford
    Want to write scripts but don't know how to start? Discover the basics of screenwriting - character, conflict and more - on this short online course that will help you shape your ideas and get your story going.



    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. Beowulf and the challenges of translation
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Thomas White
    Beowulf is one of the foundational works in the history of English literature. It is at once familiar and strange: its story is well-known, but critics continue to debate its origins and its language and form have long challenged modern readers and translators. This course will explore the poem and its original language, and recent attempts to render that language into modern English.



    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 £64.00
  15. Still life in the history of art: opulence and fragility
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    Still-life paintings usually represent ordinary things, often small and arranged on an indoor surface, without human presence. Long regarded in western art as the lowliest subject or “genre”, one that only required technical skill rather than imagination, still lifes are now considered some of the most charming and best loved paintings and can contain intriguing meanings that repay close study.



    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 £79.00 Concession £64.00

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