If you haven't heard of Miss Snark, then you are a deeply deprived person. Go right now and check out her Snarkives which, even though she is no longer actively blogging, contain an absolute treasure trove of information on the writing business.
And although she is no longer blogging, the dear Miss Snark has spawned a great many spin off blogs - one of which belongs to Authoress, owner of the Miss Snark's First Victim blog. Over the next few weeks, she's running a second Are You Hooked? competition - and the rules are easy. When submissions open (circa July 14), email in your first 250 words of any story. Once the entry period is over, each entry will be posted in a separate post, and readers of the blog will comment on each post. As an added bonus, Authoress has managed to snag a real-life, honest-to-goodness agent who will also read and critique each opening.
Entry is free, you don't have to have a complete manuscript to enter, and all that's asked is that you give feedback on everyone else's beginnings if you get feedback on yours. What have you got to lose?
If you're feeling like you need a bit of a warm up, this thread over on Critique Circle is for posting entries to for preliminary help with polishing and feedbacky-ness. And our very own Liana Brooks is hosting a first paragraph 'competition' on her blog as we speak as a warm up for your first 250 words :)
Free feedback, from an agent no less. You can't pass that up every day ;)