It had been awhile since I'd had any critique of my work--probably at least six months or more--when I stumbled upon Miss Stark's First Victim, Secret Agent contest. Enter your first 250 words, and get (a) feedback from other bloggers, (b) feedback from the secret agent (man or woman, I'm not sure, but I have the song stuck in my head), (c) a prize--i.e., submission of pages, and/or (d) all of the above.
My answer: (a) and (b)
(a) feedback from other bloggers--I most definitely got that, along with an interesting debate about the merit of a prologue. 15 or so comments in, I realized that even if I didn't "win," I would know what I should do to make mine better for the next agent that looks at it.
(b) feedback from the SA--just got that last night, some time after midnight. Not what I was hoping, but hey ... not every agent likes the same Kool Aid flavor. And I wouldn't want an agent that's only half-heartedly interested about my sorta-kinda paranormal YA, even if it meant I had representation.
For anyone interested (that means you, Omi :P), mine was number 24. (I figured out how to do the link thing--woohoo!) As a brief overview, it's about a high school junior named Lexi who falls in love with new guy, Jake, but being with him unlocks memories from a past she'd rather forget. It has a paranormal element, but the crux of the story is Lexi's self-discovery and personal growth, as well as how this all affects her relationship w/Jake. Vague, I know. I'll work on that later, when the brain cells are up and running again.
Please feel free to let me know what you think or ask any questions. I could talk about writing all day :)