I’ve been teaching children’s book writing for about 15 years now, and I encourage each group of students to exchange contact information so that they can stay in touch after class ends. Many of them go on to form writing/critique groups; I’ve bumped into some students long after class has ended only to hear of writing groups that have continued on for many years running. When I was struggling to finish my first long project—a middle grade mystery—I decided it might be helpful to put myself into the position of being the “non-expert” for a change (in other words, to once again become a student instead of the instructor). I credit that class—taught by mystery writer and amazing writing teacher Ellen Hart—as being instrumental in helping me to finally finish that novel and build some connections within the mystery-writing community! Whether you are a brand-new writer or an established pro looking for fresh ways to approach your work, signing up for a class can be a great way to gain new knowledge and new connections.