One of the risks of running a group for middle grade writers is that - being 9-12 years old and all - they sometimes drop out easily. People do that anyway, but at least adults aren't at risk of having their parents decided they can't take the writer to the library today because it's time to shop for groceries.
My current group is three weeks into the five week course, and we've got five of the original seven. That's pretty good. One kid was clearly too young, and his mother was very apologetic about withdrawing him. The other has been in my class before, and he's pretty hyper - I'm not complaining if he stays away!
We covered dialogue yesterday, making a list of verbs that can be used instead of 'said'. Then we went around making up a conversation between the fictional 'Jim' and 'Steve' in which each participant uttered (there's one!) something in the voice that matched the verb they used. Being ten year olds, we had a lot of "screamed Jim" and "Yelled Steve".
It was great. I am now deaf, and lucky not to be banned from the library.