Do you remember all the talk in the early days of lockdown when we were being urged to make good use of the time by achieving some long-held ambition or task? It became a pressure in itself, didn't it. Learn a language! Paint with watercolours! Play a musical instrument!

But perhaps you stepped up to the plate and embarked on that novel you've always been meaning to write?

So now you need an agent.

Suffolk's first literary agency has been launched in Laxfield by Emily Shercliff to help East Anglian authors get their big break.

After 20 years' experience of publishing in Iran, Nigeria, the United States and Australia, Emily is now working in Suffolk, and she is inviting entries for an inaugural New Anglia Manuscript Prize.

Sponsored by the National Centre for Writing in Norwich, the competition will look for the best new writer from Suffolk and Norfolk in the form of a debut novel from an unpublished writer. The winner will receive a cash prize of £500, and an offer of representation from Laxfield Literary Associates.

This is a marvellous opportunity. You never know where it might lead.

On a slightly different tack, take Susie Dent's experience. She was in the right place at the right time when, as a young graduate, just a few weeks into her first job in publishing, she was invited to step into the role of presenter of Dictionary Corner on TV's 'Countdown'. She's now a household name, having been on our screens for 28 years!

We met Susie last week when she joined me online to talk about her new book 'Word Perfect'. We all had a wonderful time learning new words, giggling about her exploits on the TV programmes, and commiserating with her about the issues surrounding the publication of her book last week.

Thank you to everyone who's given me such fabulous feedback about the event: "it was such a fun evening" - "it may have been Zoom but it felt like a night out" - "excellent, please do more!" - "really enjoyable" - "fascinating"

I hope to announce more events like this one, soon.