The task of writing a 1,000 word article, which looked a bit daunting at first, proved to be no problem at all for the group. Three of the articles have since been accepted for publication. Even better, one of them was mine! I'd say the others were of publishable quality, but as the authors have not yet sent them anywhere this assessment has not been rigorously tested.
How did we achieve this remarkable success rate? I think we did a couple of vital things right. We picked subjects we knew a fair bit about (haiku, hill-walking, librarianship, churches and the Manx diaspora. Yes, it's quite a diverse group!) We had a particular market in mind - in most cases a particular journal. This meant that the articles were targeted towards a very specific audience. If I'd sent my article on haiku to a librarianship or hill-walking journal it might not have been so well received. Ok, I have just enough sense not to do that.