Writing political comedy

Course Dates: 21/10/23 - 22/10/23
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
Location: Online
When it comes to subjects for comedy, the news media never seems to run out. Learn to write political comedy from pithy one liners to satirical columns and monologues using techniques from professional comedy script writers.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00

Course Code: HW473

Sat-Sun, day, 21 Oct - 22 Oct '23

Duration: 2 sessions

Any questions? writing@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 4582 0415

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?

This course is a supportive workshop on how write effective writing political comedy with practicioner Kate Smurthwaite, writer for Have I Got News For You and the BBC BAFTA-winning series The Revolution Will Be Televised.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

- Comedy of politics, politics of comedy
- Generating material
- Drafting and redrafting
- Writing for performance
- Devising comedy.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- give and receive feedback with sensitivity
- Identify different types of political comedy
- Understand some basic techniques of writing political comedy and writing for performance in general
- Produce several pieces of original creative writing.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

Come ready to share your ideas and your unique sense of humour. You will need an interest in politics and a willingness to participate. This is an intermediate course and some experience of creative writing will be useful. English fluency is essential.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Tutor-led discussion, analysis of successful political comedy, in class exercises, collaborative writing.

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?

No additional costs. Please bring writing materials.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Why not flex your funny bone in Joke writing or in our three-week Writing comedy course? Please check the prospectus for dates. You may also be interested in writing for performance in one of our playwriting or screenwriting courses. Watch out for Ways into playwriting and Ways into screenwriting every term.

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.

Kate Smurthwaite

Kate Smurthwaite writes for BBC3’s BAFTA-winning The Revolution Will Be Televised and the UK's leading political satire show Have I Got News For You. She also writes and tours an annual solo political comedy show and has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for the past 12 years. She is often a guest on news and debate shows including Question Time, BBC News and Channel 4 News, and has been has written fr publications including The Guardian and The Independent.

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.