Course overview



On this short course, learn to use the city around you to stimulate and inspire your prose, poetry or non-fiction projects.

The course was well thought out, varied, and drew on a diverse, multi-sensory range of sources to provide tons of inspiration and ideas using London as source material. Sonia is an engaged, encouraging, and enthusiastic teacher, who clearly loves the subject and shared practical and thought-provoking ways to respond to the city, and techniques and exercises to apply to creative writing more widely. I'm already recommending it to other writers.

Vicky Walker

The course encouraged me to see London in a new light through my writing and introduced me to exercises that help to get the creative juices flowing. It was a great opportunity to share my writing in a supportive and constructive atmosphere. I highly recommend the course to anyone who wishes to seek inspiration from the city and feel motivated to write on a regular basis.

Martha Burley

This course aims to inspire you as a writer to re-engage with your surroundings and create new work. Participants will be encouraged and taught to reflect on their own work and appreciate the work of other writers in a more nuanced way.

Good writing comes from curiosity, close observation and looking afresh. This course will provide an enjoyable way for those new to the city, as well as hardened Londoners, to discover more about this remarkable place.

What will I study on this short course?

On this ten-week course, you'll have a different writing exercise each week. Each task will be based on a different aspect of London and will be aimed to get you to develop your ability and confidence as a writer

In class, we will share our own work and will also look to take inspiration from the work of some famous London writers. 

The course aims to provide you with new and different stimuli as a writer and will hopefully prompt you to write more throughout the week, to generate new material and to experiment with different working styles.


  • Week 1. Introduction and warm up exercises. London as a source of inspiration.
  • Week 2. London Views: “a wilderness of steeples”
  • Week 3. London Transport: writing inspired by journeys underground and overground.
  • Week 4. Sharpening your senses: London through taste and through sounds.
  • Week 5. London characters: “beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics”.
  • Week 6. Writing inspired by London artworks.
  • Week 7. City of ghosts: London past and present.
  • Week 8. The dark side: “that great cess pool”. London crime and nightlife.
  • Week 9. Shops and markets.
  • Week 10. London Calling: hopes, dreams, and disappointments.

What will I learn on this short course?

You will undertake a series of exercises to generate new material and experiment with different approaches and will end the course with a portfolio of London pieces.



Booking information

Please note that our short courses sell-out quickly, so early booking is advisable.

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Richard Hoggart Building

Tutor information

Sonia Lambert

Sonia Lambert has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Her novel, "Three Mothers", was published in 2006 by Piatkus (Little, Brown) with editions in Italy (Mondadori) and the USA (Berkley Press). She is currently a PhD Candidate at Goldsmiths, working on a novel set in the Second World War and researching refugee writing. She has also written for BBC Radio 4 and the Guardian newspaper.


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