Yesterday afternoon and this morning our tutor was Adam Foulds, author most recently of The Quickening Maze, which was on last year’s Man Booker prize shortlist (I should note that Sarah Hall’s The Electric Michelangelo made the Man Booker short list in 2004 and her How to Paint a Dead Man made the longlist in 2009). If I had to use one word to describe Sarah Hall it would be ‘vivacious’; she is a bubbling brook of observation and insight. And if I had to use one word to describe Adam Foulds it would be ‘cerebral’; each word is weighed, pondered, evaluated. With Sarah we studied perspective, first- and third-person decisions, landscape and dialogue. With Adam we studied action, sentence structure, detail, specificity, gesture and authorial knowledge. With Sarah we analysed examples of the work of Richard Brautigan, Cormac McCarthy, Ross Raisin, Andrew Miller, Hilary Mantel and Daniel Woodrell. With Adam we started with William Morris’s The Haystack in the Floods, and went on to analyse examples of the work of Roland Barthes, Ernest Hemingway, Charles Dickens, Christopher Logue, James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, Henry James and Gertrude Stein. Having just drafted those lists I realise how intensive these one-and-a-half days have been. They have also been immensely enjoyable.