photos from May 12 workshop

WWP 12 May 2015

Working on the day’s craft lesson.

Here is a photo from Tuesday’s workshop. It was wonderful to have Scott, John, Malcolm, and Sarah back after the one-year WWP hiatus. We discussed our writing lives, I led a lesson on revision and story endings, we analyzed a wonderful Andre Dubus short story, “Woman on a Plane,” and finally critiqued Malcolm’s draft opinion piece, and John’s draft flash fiction pieces. For me, it was great to work with everyone again.

WWP Workshop at Shape and Flow, 12 May 2015

Pondering drafts at the WWP Workshop at Shape and Flow, 12 May 2015

new creative writing minor

At Indiana University Southeast where I teach in the Writing Program we were recently given approval for a creative writing minor. Now students who wish to study creative writing can have official recognition of that on their transcripts for the first time since 1997.

diversity coordinator position

I’m excited to have competed for and been given the position of Academic Affairs Diversity Coordinator at Indiana University Southeast. For three years I’ll work with my colleagues in diversity and across campus to help make Southeast more diverse in its atmosphere, curriculum, and presence. I’ll still be teaching, but with a lighter load so I can concentrate on the new position.

faculty writing group

I want to take a moment to thank my colleague in the Writing Program Dr. Jacob Babb for starting the faculty writing group on campus. This spring it helped me work steadily (well, work at all, now and then) on a paper about three novels. It is going to continue this summer, and I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to meet faculty working on their research across campus, and work on creating better writing habits.

the WWP meets again!

I’m so pleased to announce the next Writer’s Workshop Project meeting!

Writers Workshop Project
Writers Workshop Project

The Writers Workshop Project (WWP) is like a monthly mini writers’ conference. Each meeting includes socializing/discussing our writing lives, a lesson with exercises on writing craft, and a moderated workshop. If you don’t have a draft, bring your editor’s hat and help critique. Many writers attend just to be inspired. Whether you come for socializing with writers, the craft lesson, or to observe and help workshop, you are welcome. The WWP is open to writers of all levels and genres.

Meetings are usually held one per month.

  • Next Meeting: June 9, 2015
  • Location: Shape & Flow Writing
    1860 Mellwood Ave. Studio 123
    Louisville KY 40206
  • Time: 6:00-8:30p.m.
  • Beverages and snacks served
  • Fee: $35

Maximum attendance = 8 people

Contact me for questions at workshops/atsign/

If you must cancel, please give 24 hours' notice to receive a refund minus a $10 reservation fee. (If I have to cancel for any reason, your total fee is always refunded.)

In honor of restarting the WWP, you may enter coupon code WELCOMEBK in your shopping cart for $5 off the usual price when you try the WWP for the first time.

Register now!

I look forward to working with you!
-Michael Jackman

You will be registered using Paypal. When checking out, If you don't have a Paypal account, use the option at the bottom of the Paypal screen to check out using your credit card, as a Paypal guest.

Price: $35.00

rough cuts 1- “Act Naturally”

Maybe writers are the types who can’t just do one thing – In my spare time I like to make rough cuts of cover songs and sometimes write my own – here’s a brand new cover of “Act Naturally” by Buck Owens. It’s unadorned, quick takes – so if you prefer studio-pretty, don’t like it rough and unpretty, it won’t be for you. But thanks for listening!

reminder: workshop tomorrow

As you’ve heard, I’m bringing back the WWP. It’s been a little over a year, and I’m excited to teach and work with writers in the community again. This is to remind you that the first new workshop is tomorrow. There’s a coupon with a discount to celebrate the re-start. Do please e-mail me back if you are planning on coming so I can be ready with copies and such. More information and register here: If you have problems registering, let me know. Thanks, writers!

go ahead, stick your hands where you can’t see

As a homeowner with a home that requires a lot of “projects,” as Sarah and I call them, I spend a lot of time “repairing and improving.” Luckily for me, I survived my first lesson of DIY home ownership, which is: never, Never, EVER stick your hands into any place you can’t see. Why? Because the house you imagine is not the house you own. The electric outlet wired neatly and correctly in your mind is not the electric outlet you have. What you have is a frayed, loose and incorrectly labelled hot wire waiting to zap your well-intentioned questing fingers. The neat and smooth vinyl siding behind your window shutter is not the vinyl siding you have. What you have is a nest of paper wasps attached to that siding, never having been disturbed until you came along to feel blindly for the screw hole.

But I’m not just a homeowner, I’m also a writer who teaches writing. And I have seen how students take this practical rule for dealing with the unknown in everyday life, and apply it to writing–with the expected consequences that playing it safe has on art.

As a writer, one of the last, hardest lessons I learned after years of practice was that although the dark, unexplored places of the mind are just as likely to zap and sting as are the unseen places in a one-storey, vinyl-sided, previously-owned house of surprises,  the difference is, that’s where you want to go. And while shedding light on a subject is a nice metaphor and good advice for a homeowner, in the case of the creative arts, you can’t turn on the flashlight ahead of time. You have to stick your fingers into the unseen places first, and take your lumps.