Dark Angels Note 94

Dearest Friends,

This Friday it’s the undisputed queen of the word, Heather Atchison, who’s come to play. 


1. Tell us about something you’re working on right now. 

In terms of personal writing, I’ve just revisited and polished something I scribbled in my notebook a few years ago at Hawkwood, surrounded by Dark Angels and inspired by Sherman Alexie’s Sonnet with Bird. What came out of me was a piece of writing about some of my (still) best friends who I met at college at the tender age of 17. I’m working up the courage to share it with them…

On the work front, I’m becoming increasingly involved in the emerging world of decentralised finance and climate action. I’ve just written a brand story and content principles for a young company that’s developed a way to bring carbon credits onto the blockchain and turn them into tokens that can be traded and built into products. Of course, I feel completely out of my depth here! But I know from experience that this is a sign it’s going to be very rewarding work. It fills me with excitement and real hope that the many things going on in this space could actually make a difference.


2. Can you recommend something for us to read?

This is Happiness by Niall Williams. It grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and didn’t let me go – such gorgeous writing, so Irish, and so tender, happy and sad. Moments from this book still pop into my head months after reading it – always a good sign.


3. What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever read or received?  

Can I cheat and have two? My first would be: if you want to be a good writer, become a good reader. And the second: think about how you’d say it to someone if they were standing right in front of you, and write that down. I tell this to my clients ALL the time.


4. Share one thing you do when you get stuck.

I step away from the screen, find my cat Bella (who’s usually not very far away) and bury my head in her fur. I stay there for as long as she’ll let me and try to empty my mind. Something about her smell, the feel of her fur and the sound of her purr helps to restart my brain.


5. What’s your desert island book and why? 

I’m terrible with questions like this. Something about the permanence of the decision terrifies me! Which is why I don’t have any tattoos… But I think I’d take Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. In my previous life as a postgraduate student, I knew this book very well. It’s full of poetry – a fantastical imagining of what we now know to be true. It would hopefully fill me over and over again with wonder and appreciation for the natural world, on my little island home and far beyond.


Thank you Heather. Great to know the scribbles in our collective notebooks have life and power beyond those magical Dark Angels courses. And “So Irish” might be the all time best laudatory phrase ever (speaking on behalf of the Irish Marketing Board obvs).




One Space Left on Telling Stories – A One Day Workshop
There’s just one spot left on this one day course. Join Neil Baker and John Simmons to explore new ways of using storytelling techniques in your business and personal writing. We’ll be working with a series of creative and playful exercises to help you make, shape and remake powerful stories. If you’re new to Dark Angels, the day will be a perfect introduction to our approach to business writing and creativity. And if you’ve worked with us before, it’s a chance to try new exercises and recharge your creative batteries.

Date: 27th April 10:30 – 16:30
Venue: October Gallery, Central London
Fee: £275
Grab the last place here.


Online Advanced Course
Jamie Jauncey & Richard Pelletier return in May to guide you deeper into the world of Dark Angels with exercises that build on the Foundation Course and bring a greater focus on developing your personal writing voice.

A mix of live online sessions, fast-paced writing exercises, and time spent on your own, we’ll help you find surprising new ways to explore language, as we draw on storytelling, business communications, fiction and poetry.

The Details
Two-hour sessions, twice a week, for one month.
Dates: each Tuesday & Thursday, May 2 – 26
UK 5.30 pm – 7.30 pm
US East Coast  12.30 pm – 2.30 pm
US West Coast 9.30 am – 11.30 am

Fee: £795 / E895 / $1095
Full course details are on the website. Contact Susanne to book your place.


Weekly Tuesday Gatherings
After a much deserved break, Neil will be back with gusto on Tuesday 19th April. This is a lovely hour of reading, writing and communing. Everyone is welcome; in fact invite a friend along. We meet at 7pm UK time. To join us, click here on the night. There’s no need to register in advance and we’ll be using the same link every week from now on.

Be well, keep reading, keep writing and know that we’re always here.. 

From everyone at Dark Angels


Also published on Medium.