Any thoughts on the critique site thenextbigwriter.com? If you submit something on here, will it hurt your chances of getting published by a real publishing house? Is there real potential to get valuable feedback from others, or should I put my energies to better use?
What you do to get your ms in shape to go out in the world is your business. I do NOT want to hear what you did to prune, fluff, fold, or polish the thing. Much like I don't want to see Miss America getting ready for the swimsuit contest.
If you elect to join one of these PAID critique circles, have at it. Don't tell me when you query. I'm certainly not going to ask you.
Whether it's valuable is too subjective to know. The reviewers listed looked like they know how to write given they have pub credits.
I'll bet there's a thread over at Absolute Write on this, or things like it.