Wow. Nathan Bransford, the agent from Curtis Brown who maintains an incredibly informative and entertaining blog, ran a contest over the past week on opening pages. Readers submitted the first 500 words of a current work in progress and Nathan and his friend chose six finalists, from which the blog's readers will choose the winning entry by vote. Nathan received 675 entries...and the one I submitted made the list! It was the opening page of a piece of contemporary women's fiction (my apologies to historical fiction fans, but my new opening wasn't ready yet). If you'd like to read my entry and the other finalists', go to Nathan Bransford--Literary Agent. You can vote for your favorite in the comments section by Tuesday at 5 pm Pacific Time.
Thank you, Nathan, for the hours of hard work that went into hosting this contest! It was a lot of fun and quite enlightening. Now all of us unpublished writers have a better idea of what an agent's daily life is like and how important it is to hone those first pages in order to capture the agent's--and reader's!--attention. Good luck to all the finalists!