By happy accident I bumped into another aspiring writer, Emma Woodcock, through a mutual facebook friend - see, technology isn't all bad. I've not made it to a writing group yet (there aren't any very close to where I live - about fifteen minutes away to the nearest), and I've heard very mixed things about online forums and groups, so it's been a real delight to find someone to talk to who is nearly at the same stage in her writing career as me. Well, that's not quite true. In fact she's way ahead of me, in terms of craft and also having her first novel (which is for young adults) already up to submission standard. Having read it, I was in awe - it was really original and she kept the pace going and the story twisting at a fantastic rate. You can read the first chapter here http://www.darklandsthenovel.net/
I'm looking forward to hearing she has an agent, soon!