Eileen Kernaghan, Wild Talent, Marja Bergen, A Firm Place to Stand,
C. June Wolf, Finding Creatures, Debra Purdy Kong, Fatal Encryption
I have to agree. I am a longtime member of Helix, Vancouver's oldest speculative fiction writing group, and have been with Kyle for three or four years. The members of these two very different groups have contributed enormously to my writing and have filled in the tremendous gaps in my knowledge around critiquing and self-critiquing, publishing, promotion, etcetera. More than that, having a supportive and enthusiastic group of varied individuals to meet with weekly has given me both a regular deadline to meet and a continuous infusion of inspiration and joie de l'écriture.
By the way, Julie is a font of useful information--I have leaned on her expertise rather heavily from time to time. Anyone new to the writing and publishing scene, or anyone wanting to update their knowledge of publishing, have a look at the new edition of her Book Magic: Turning Writers into Published Authors. It's fun, well-written, and packed with helpful tips.