Writing the city
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: Keeley Street
Course Code: HW317
Duration: 1 session
Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.
What is the course about?
Learn to use the city around you to stimulate and inspire your prose, poetry or non-fiction projects. This short course aims to stimulate writers towards engaging with the city and those who inhabit it as a way of inspiring new writing. Participants will reflect on their own work as well as gaining appreciating of the work of other writers.
Good writing derives from curiosity, close observation and looking afresh. This course will provide an enjoyable way both for those new to the city, as well as seasoned Londoners, to generate material while discovering more about the original 'Big Smoke.'.
What will we cover?
- How to develop setting in your work
- Exploring urbanity - themes of the city
- Drawing inspiration from the cityscape.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Write urban environments with confidence
- Analyse how other writers have approached 'writing the city'
- Produce fiction with a compelling urban setting
- Give and receive constructive feedback with confidence.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course, suitable for beginners and those with some experience of creative writing. You should be an enthusiastic reader, and fluent in spoken and written English.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will learn through a mixture of interactive tutor presentation, pair and group work, discussion, and writing exercises. The session will involve walking explorations of the local area. There will be regular breaks.
All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day, regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.
City Lit Writing endeavours to create a safe and welcoming space for all and we strongly support the use of content notes in our classes. This means that learners are encouraged to make their tutor and classmates aware in advance if any writing they wish to share contains material that may be deemed sensitive. If you are unsure about what might constitute sensitive content, please ask your tutor for further clarification and read our expectations for participating in writing courses at City Lit.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
There are no additional costs. Please bring writing materials, preferably pen and paper. Please wear comfortable walking shoes, and inform City Lit if you have any mobility issues.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You might be interested in enrolling on our Writing fiction or Developing your creative writing courses. Check out our prospectus online for further information.
All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is the author of Harmless Like You—the winner of The Authors’ Club First Novel Award and a Betty Trask Award. It was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and an NPR 2017 Great Read. Her second novel, Starling Days, was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award. Her short work has appeared in several places including Granta, Guernica, The Atlantic, and NPR’s Selected Shorts. She is the editor of the Go Home! anthology.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.