About us

Student stories

City Lit inspires passions and realises ambitions. Each year students studying here change career, embark on a new challenge or learn something new. They are taught by specialist tutors - practising writers, artists, performers and practitioners. Read about some of our student and staff here...

  • Sovel Cunningham

    A career with Royal Mail and in Human resources equipped Sovel with great interpersonal skills. Mastering her natural poetic voice during several writing and speech courses at City Lit, she has recently signed a publishing deal with 'That Guy's House...

  • Laura Cristin

    Laura recalls her memories of 1970s London. Her relationship with City Lit whilst working an an au pair, looking after young children and learning English for the first time...

  • Ray Plassard

    'Hearing that the City Lit celebrates its centenary in 2019 put me in mind that I have been attending classes there on and off for over 50 years, half of its existence! Mainly in the music department.'

  • Angela Tulloch

    City Lit bursary recipient Angela Tulloch shares her experiences; 'City Lit has been and still is a life saver, it is a powerful positive transformation place for me. This opportunity has allowed my soul to sing because I am actually doing what makes me free and happy'.

  • Ilyaas Cader

    llyaas travelled from Sri Lanka, surviving an incredible journey across Europe, to join his brother in London. He went on to study English at City Lit and now works as a Senior Deaf Children’s Mental Health Worker.

  • Russell Aldersson

    Russell's connection to City Lit spans three decades, from studying British Sign Language at he age of 19 to becoming a fully qualified British Sign Language/English Interpreter at City Lit and beyond.

  • Sonia Brown

    Sonia designed the 4th floor roof terrace garden in 2012 and works at reception.  She designed a green space, user friendly to humans and insects and be a tranquil quiet haven to retreat to any time during the day.

  • Marsha Dunstan

    I am hugely grateful to City Lit for giving me so many of the tools to change my life. Thanks to City Lit, I went on to gain a BA and MA in fine art. I now earn my living through a combination of writing, editing and art-based courses.

  • Lucy, Dave and Gene Wilson

    Lucy and Dave met at a Photography taster course at the Visual Arts Open Day, by the end of the day they had arranged a date, went on to marry and start a family with the arrival of baby 'Gene'. Lucy Wilson; "We are firm believers in trying new things - you never know what might happen.”

  • Gillian Anderson

    “Before I visited City Lit, I looked through what you do here and the lives you help transform, it was such a privilege to hear some of the stories of those impacted by such opportunity, I was overwhelmed. What an extraordinary gift to the community, and to this wonderful city'.

  • Jack O'Neill

    Jack decided to take early retirement and started looking for massage therapy courses in London after deciding the quiet life wasn't for him...Jack is now a fully qualified massage therapist and a professional member of the CThA, and the owner of Holmas Massage.

  • Lucille Lewin

    Lucille discovered her passion for ceramics on the course following her hugely successful career in fashion and retailing (selling the Whistles business in 2002). 

  • Malorie Blackman

    Malorie Blackman OBE has a long connection with City Lit as a former student attending diverse courses with us since the late 1980s.  Having written over fifty books, Malorie is acknowledged as one of today’s most imaginative and convincing writers for young readers.

  • Penelope Maynard

    Discover how City Lit courses provide inspiration and substance in Penelope’s retirement, and her general view of City Lit after being a student here for a number of years. Having taken over 15 courses, City Lit plays an enormous role in her daily life.

  • Annemarie O'Sullivan

    Annemarie O'Sullivan started as a basketry student and is now a City Lit basketry tutor and basketmaker. She makes a range of small scale domestic work through to large scale installations and sculptural work. Her work has been featured in The New York Times and Country Living UK. 


  • Farrah Idris

    Farrah Idris is a fully qualified, practising complementary therapist, working in the oldest established hospice in London. She specialises in clinical therapies with end of life patients, and is also a tutor in massage (ITEC) at City Lit and hypnotherapist in training.

  • David Ekong

    David has lived with a stammer since childhood, but it was only after taking a stammering course at City Lit that he managed to build his confidence speaking in public situations and deliver his wedding speech.

  • Judith Pearson

    Judith Pearson recounts her first experiences of City Lit. Describing a 6am queue to book a creative writing course and a surprise journey into adult education, completing hundreds of writing and drama courses along the way.

  • View more student stories from City Lit...

    Over 25,000 Londoners enjoy a course at City Lit each year, some looking to change career or embark on a new challenge, and others to learn something new and have fun while exploring a new interest. Read about some of our students here...

  • Mary Hurworth

    Mary Hurworth, an art student at City Lit for over 25 years, left a gift in her will, Mary has made sure that others have the same opportunity to follow new pathways in art with the development of the Digital and Design Lab on the fourth floor.