Note 156 Welcome back to our weekly Friday Note. Background image is an old wooden writing desk with ink well and an open book with handwritten text

Dark Angels Note 156

Dearest Friends

After our summer break, welcome back to our weekly Friday Note.



Today marks the birthday of English writer W. W. Jacobs (8 September 1863 – 1 September 1943).

Willian Wymark Jacobs started his writing career around a full-time clerical job at The Post Office Savings Bank. Short stories and sketches became the antidote to the everyday ennui of his job and he began contributing to their internal comms publication, Blackfriars Magazine.

Though a comic writer, it is for his horror that he is most well-known. Most famously The Monkey’s Paw, a superstitious tale of a mummified paw that has the power to grant wishes. The tale has been reproduced in film, theatre and TV, including an episode of The Simpsons, and retold in Stephen King’s novel Pet Semetary.



This spine-chilling fiction was first published in 1902 and became an enduring classic of supernatural storytelling.

Read: The Monkey’s Paw, revisited on The London Magazine.



British philosopher Bertrand Russell said, “Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.” Can you write about a time when you – or a character – overcame a superstitious fear to arrive at a place of wisdom, or at least the beginnings of some wisdom? We’d love to see whatever you come up with.


And while we’re on the subject of fear, congratulations to Dark Angels alumna Kate Van Der Borgh. Publishers Fourth Estate have just snapped up her debut novel, “And He Shall Appear”. It’s a dark academic thriller than opens with “one of the most chilling scenes I’ve ever encountered in a novel”, according to their editorial director, Katie Bowden. It’s out in Autumn 2024.



Dark Angels is joining the Bloomsbury Festival lineup this year for an inspiring, uplifting and accessible evening of poetry.

19 October 2023, 18:30 – 19:30 at The Art Worker’s Guild, London.
Get your ticket here.


Keep sending us your poems, writings, links and writerly whatnots that you’d like to share with the wider Dark Angels family.



Weekly Tuesday Gatherings

The weekly Tuesday Gatherings are back from 12 September. Join us for a reflective hour of reading, writing and communing led by Neil Baker. Everyone is welcome; in fact, invite a friend along. We meet at 7pm UK time.

To join us, click here on the night.


Return to Aracena, 28 September to 3 October

This is our annual trip to the El Tornero de Rebollar in Aracena. Perhaps you’ve been there with us before, or have heard about its magic. Gillian Colhoun and Neil Baker are taking a small group into a lightly held space where you can explore something meaningful to you. It could be about where your work or business goes next, or how to recharge your creative energies, or maybe you just want to see what emerges when you make time for rest and reflection. Find out more here.


A journey into the Sahara, 19-26 November

This is our intrepid journey deep into the Sahara Desert. Jamie Jauncey and Neil Baker will meet you in Marrakech, and take you east into the Atlas mountains, about ten hours later arriving at a stunning desert retreat centre called Cafe Tissardmine. Contact Susanne to find out more.


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

From everyone at Dark Angels




Image credit: Photo by Dim Hou on Unsplash