Writing the city
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HW317
Duration: 1 session
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.'.
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.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
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.
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.
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.