Katy is a writer from Tasmania, Australia, and I recently stumbled onto her blog to discover this article. She tells us about her first trip to a writers group, and overcoming her fears. I liked the tone of the post, and I can certainly sympathise with the 'catastrophising' she employs, imagining all the horrible and embarassing scenarios she might encounter on her visit.
You can find the article here: http://storytellingnomad.wordpress.com/2011/06/09/overcoming-a-fear-of-writers-groups/
Literarium will try to encourage writing groups through structured circles of private markets and services - you might have a competition that is only meaningful to your local writing group, or a private NaNoWriMo.
I think this article is a good start for anyone still nervous about hanging out with their peers.