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Send $20 per packet to Summit Seminars P.O.Box 36 Crestline, CA 92325 (postage included) 


Walk about writing the short story four hours

Fifteen different packets available $20 each

1. Writing the short story 

2. Beginning your memoir (A)

3. Adding to your memoir(b)

4. Writing a poem

5. Writing a screenplay

5. Writing a stage play

7. Writing a travel article

8. Writing a short story 2

9 Writing a horror story

10. Writing a fantasy short story

11. Writing your novel 

12 Working on your novel 

12. Writing your novel 2

14 Editing for power writing

15 Flash Fiction


Prompts for 1.setting 2.conflict 3 character

Lunch menu (gourmet recipe included)

Story lines with diagram for guidance in structure

tips for power writing

Quotes from other writers to inspire you

How to pace yourself: a plan for beginning and developing and writing a strong conclusion

Things to bring along in your back pack

Places to submit your finished story

Suggested places to submit your finished story. How to use Submittable

Helpful ideas for "walk around writing" and things to take with you for a meaningful day of imagining. 


Choose the walk about writing workshop that you want me to send you, enclose a check, make sure you include your name and contact  where I can reach you. We can Zoom, write or chat about your results. I love to talk about your writing and welcome feedback.  If you have questions, my email is Let's talk!

Stay safe. Keep your distance. Wear a mask when talking to anyone.

Be sure to choose a place to w​alk and write where you can be alone and safe. Do not hike in the mountains alone. Be careful for your safety. Maybe a nice walk through a lovely neighborhood, or in your own garden. If you are lucky you may have a lake or park where you can stop for lunch under a tree. Each packet will have a list of t hings to take with you on our writer's walking retreat.

How we live now.  

So the country is closed, the writing cabin is closed to retreats, but we still have the need to write . As Virginia Woolf says, "Scenes will form" ---So instead of enjoying the camaraderie of like-minded writers, I have put together some packets for do it yourself writing when you hear the call to spend time on your own. Walking writer Workshops with everything you need to arrange your own silent retreat. Low cost packets with prompts, lunch suggestions with gourmet recipes, quotes from writers to inspire you, and places to submit your plays, short stories, poems, and more. ​.

Writing Flash Fiction 2021 Sign up now. Limited to 6.

The Ides of March Seminar: March 15th from 11 until 4pm. Run~Run~`

ONE special DAY ONLY

$40 for lunch. Everything else is free. Spend 5 hours pampering your imagination.

Lunch Menu: Jaques Pepin’s French onion soup gratinee, Julia Child’s Croque monsieur, Chocolat pot de crème with a madeleine, espresso and French wine.

We will concentrate on Character-driven stories in flash fiction (stories under 1000 words) There will be prompts, handouts, stimulating conversation, and time to practice in 2 silent writing hours. Sharing with dessert- and wine is optional. Strictly limited to 6 participants.

Joan Eyles Johnson: At various times, a TV show host, journalist, artistic director, PR manager for symphony orchestra, opera company, professional cook, a French bistro pastry chef, a community college English instructor, a professor of English, Humanities with an emphasis on writing in grad school at a University, award-winning playwright (off-Broadway, major theaters, NPR), stories published-- Hemingway Prize for Short Fiction, Decades of published poetry. 


Put a little more fun in your life. Write something.

Coming very soon!!!!

Writing as a Zen experience!

A spa day for your spirit

for those who say "i'm not a writer." for those who have been shamed and afraid to write from their "heads," and for those who have something to say but don't know where to begin, and for all  who need a rest from the word-drenched life they lead:  A day of peace, refreshment, essential mindfulness, coaching, inspiration and nutritious food for the body, mind, and spirit!

April /2021

 Saturday\ from 10am until 4pm

Take away: a poem or two, a journal entry, a bit of memoir, a short story, a chapter, a song, a new direction, and a new way to get creative "flow" ~~~

Question: How’s your spirit today? Answer: Off somewhere in another building-- Too weak to be noticed-- Waiting for Sunday when it is taken out and brushed off for company--Out of sight and mind and body—or? Do you need to retreat from your tangled work, pull back from your everyday momentum, slow down and change direction for a few hours, maybe even change your life?

Awareness-- Sharpened focus-- Authentic being-- Fresh revelations. One guru calls it “holy ground for ceasing.”

Writing is one way, a path to waking up, enlightenment, mindfulness, a richer inner life, and more.

One day only. Tuesday, August 27th --10 until 4.

Get your ticket to ride your path!!!! Awaken your talent!

Unlock the doors to deeper creativity with short guided meditations used in this practice.

The keys are in your pocket. $40. Total cost includes a healthy lunch and all writing materials

Write from your heart and not your mind, free from all conditioning of your past. Forget everything English teachers told you. This is not about a religious practice. You will learn how to access the spirit within, your path to your inner thoughts, your soul, if you like, through writing where nobody is going to critique or correct you. Come to learn how to write freely and happily with total disregard for readers’ reactions. Go home with a poem or two, a short story, a novel outline, a memoir chapter, or something you have yet to imagine. With the right coaching, inspiration, and encouragement, who knows what you can create? Spend a day connected with your languishing spirit longing to be making something meaningful with every breath you take. We are all always beginners. Experience “Flow.”

Joan Eyles Johnson, your guide and cook, is the winner of the Ernest Hemingway Prize for Short Fiction (2016) and taught writing and more for over 35 years and has won many awards for over 30 produced plays, internationally published fiction and poetry

Summit Seminars 680 Rose Hill Drive, Crestline, CA. (909) 589-0969

Please pay in advance when you sign up no later than Tuesday, August 20

your mentor's credentials

Apart from a lifetime of practicing Christianity as a committed Anglican, I have studied for many years with some of the famous teachers, Starting as a teenager studying the work of gurus, Yogananda and his disciple, Eugene Davis (my mentor), and studying two years in a Japanese temple with an American Buddhist priest from Kyoto. I then found a Zen master and worked with him in the Hakone Gardens in Saratoga, CA. and sitting zazen  on Mount Baldy in Southern California. I have since attended lectures and study hours with Catholic monks who add Zen practice to their own prayer schedules, and have found much success with writing students when adding the Zen approach to personal freedom with writing. This is the first time I am offering this method in a seminar here in Crestline. My in depth study of "Diamond Heart" psychology taught by A. H. Almaas and practiced throughout California and Colorado, using the heart to discover our true essence  through the heart while ignoring the mind-maps that can be a hindrance, distraction, and even fear of creating.from one's essential core. Today I heartily recommend the writings of Pema Chodron and the work of Adyashanti and  his partner, Mukti in northern California who have a world-wide following of those who want to work, act and think with and through an open heart.​



Summit Seminars

An IN-HOUSE personal writing coach for all genres.

Come to the mountains to escape the usual​

April is Poetry month around the world. Write short or long poems, epics or haiku. Get published in literary journals or complete a collection. Learn the ropes for all phases of being a poet in the real world of literature, leave a legacy for your descendants. This is about how to become a poet among poets. Schedule public readings, attend poetry conferences world-wide, enjoy retreats at famous centers, enter contests,perform at slams, and more. APRIL 2021


Walking Crow Meditation Center

an hour, a day, a weekend of refreshing silence.......

   This is always free! It doesn't cost anything to share the silence in our cozy retreat cabin, a beautiful garden, walking Lake Gregory, or a woodland trail. Did you read FREE? Take a breather from your busy world, practice the traditions of the Native American tribes, Tibetan masters and American psychologists and motivational speakers of note.



Our Third Murder Mystery seminar with a (boxed set) dinner-party game!


One day only!


We will write from 1 PM until 5 PM. WHEN we play actual participants in a murder mystery. Dinner will also be  from the authentic menu from the last night of the dreadful voyage of the Titanic. Discussion of writing mysteries, short story or novel.

Dinner from the Titanic menu 

fine wines

music selected from that played on the Titanic

you will receive detailed information about the role you are to play during the solving of the dinner party mystery game. Costumes optional.

Apply as soon as you can.

Participants limited to 8, the number of characters in the game. 

$150  for a day of writing (seminar),  and a special party dinner playing the murder mystery scenario with characters assigned in advance to each writer.

This looks like something very special. Your host, and chef--joan Johnson.

A Night to remember  2019

for creative writers who just want to have fun........LIMITED to Only the first EIGHT applicants.

 Writing the Short Story: from start to finish. September 14th  All day with nutritious comestibles for $40.

Write at least one short story in any genre in our days together. 

All you need to know about writing from flash to novella, with additional information about copyright, query letters, submission and more.

about how to submit to magazines and competitions and how to publish in literary journals and collections.


Your instructor has a short story of 426 words just published in November this year. She is the winner of the Ernest Hemingway Prize for Short Fiction 2016 for a story just under 1,ooo words, The judge,David Galef wrote the book on how to write "Flash.". She has also had over 30 long short stories published internationally.


Write - Be inspired - refresh-

start something-

complete something!

Summit P.O. Box 36 Crestline, CA 92325

Summit Seminars

(Not a writers workshop, but  professional guidance to being a published writer.)

Serving writers from beginning to publication and ownership of intellectual property.

Check out the entire website for information on who and what this service is about and the idea of getting down where writing is serious business and not just a hobby.


Joan Eyles Johnson, M.A. Winner of the ERNEST HEMINGWAY PRIZE FOR SHORT FICTION 2016 (Fiction Southeast) has not only taught writing for over 35 years, but is an award-winning author of short stories, poetry and a playwright with over 40 Plays produced internationally, off-Broadway and on NPR, has retired to the mountains to write deliberately, and to share her cabin in the woods with others who want to write along with her with professional coaching, inspirational prompts and expertise. Joan has four degrees in writing for media and has taught screenwriting and writing for TV and radio, all of which she has done. She has written for newspapers here and in Japan, and was a popular (contract) oft-requested teacher of writing at major corporations: Hewlett Packard, Intel, Philco/Ford, The US Government, Department of the Navy, and more. For seven years she was the Television host and producer of "Joan's Show" in Silicon Valley, She has worked locally for PBS, ABC and Fox News as a stringer for major event coverage nationwide. She continues to hone her craft taking classes from contemporary writers, most recently online from Stanford University with the young Maine novelist, Lewis Robinson (Water Dogs) and attendance at four Colrain Conferences with Joan Houlihan, Fred Marchant and other poets and poetry book publishers in Ashland, OR, Whidby Island, WA and Las Truchas, NM.


JUNE 2021

Writing for TV and Film

learn formats, getting to producers and directors, how to pitch, learn the lingo, the business of stage and screen, the very different formats, the entire process to your Emmy or Oscar.


Joan's published short stories, play performances, poetry, etc.

1.)February 2016  First place Winner of the Ernest Hemingway Prize  Short Fiction, for her story "The Night Packet" to be published  Fiction Southeast. (online with audio version as well.)

2.) Flash story, "A Pigeon's Life" published in Foliate Oak at online. 

(February edition)The Raven's Perch journal: 5 poems 1story  

3.)April: A tribute to Joan Eyles Johnson, 3 one-act plays onstage in L.A. directed by Sharon Carnicke at the Stanislavsky Studio: "Odile" "Hislops' Fables" "Dancing to the Epistle"  Echo Park, LA. 

4.)In the May issue: "The Raven's Perch" flash story "Whispering"

5) Poem, "Grief" in the current June issue of The Orchards Poetry Journal.

6) Semi-finalist Writer/Advice online for 300 word flash story: Hair  Skin  Breath.  

7.) Poem "Phuket" in new journal, Trampset. published 6/26th 

8.) Received July 25th from the best director, teacher of theater I ever met; this is a prize beyond any one could receive, better than any award:


9.) Five poems published in The Raven's Perch: You Can Find Me, The Drowned Corvette, Making Strawberry Jam, Prairie Morning, and Fencing. November  16th. 

10.) Prose Poem, "One Cannibal Waiting" Phantom Drift Limited,  literary journal. (Nov 2018)

11.) Flash fiction story, "Left"  published in first edition of "Splash" (2019) a new journal by Haunted Waters Press, publisher of the journal, "Out of the Depths."

12.) Three articles in the Winter edition of Crestline Magazine published by the Chamber of Commerce. Profiles of Pam Morey, Joseph Velazquez, and John Arthur.

In production: 

2020/21  A film of short play: "The Voice Said, Joan" in LA production to begin in February. AND another short play:  "The Lie" included in upcoming textbook by Dr. Sharon Carnicke, US

Poem in Edition 12 (winter/spring) The American Journal of Poetry (Robert Nazarene, editor)

Short film coming in February, 2022 "The Voice Said 'Joan'" octopus films


Letter Received:

Dear Joan, I so love you and your spirit.

I can’t wait for the next time we go to the Huntington, have an Indian meal, and talk about life and theatre!

It is a privilege knowing you.


Dr. Sharon Marie Carnicke

Professor, Dramatic Arts and Slavic

Associate Dean, Director of the BA Program in Dramatic Arts

University of Southern California, School of Dramatic Arts

1029 Childs Way, Los Angeles CA 90089-0791; 1-213-740-8686

Founder: The Stanislavsky Institute for the 21st Century

Author: “Stanislavsky in Focus”, “Chekhov: 4 Plays and 3 Jokes” (translator), “Checking out Chekhov”, and “Reframing Screen Performance” (co-author).

Winner of The ErnestHemingway Prize for her short story, "The Night Packet" to be printed in Fiction Southeast this month.


Are you a  secret poet? Do you have a handful or maybe a book of poems you have written for your own pleasure? Are you limiting your self by self-publishing?Would you like to know how to get your poetry published in the traditional way for more than just your friends and family to see?  November 2nd

 a solid 6 hour seminar on the subject of getting poetry published from literary journals to your own collection (book) with an ISBN from the Library of Congress. Reserve your place now and get your work in bookstores and libraries! 

Apply for this well ahead of time


PS I have met and spent weekends at poetry seminars with famous publishers and know the ropes. Trust me, it's a business.+

40$ with lunch and more.


Gothic fiction, which is largely known by the sub-genre of Gothic horror, is a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror, death, and at times romance. Its origin is attributed to English author Horace Walpole, with his 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto, subtitled (in its second edition) "A Gothic Story". The effect of Gothic fiction feeds on a pleasing sort of terror, an extension of Romantic literary pleasures that were relatively new at the time of Walpole's novel. It originated in England in the second half of the 18th century and had much success in the 19th, as witnessed by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Another well known novel in this genre, dating from the late Victorian era, is Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The name Gothic refers to the (pseudo)-medieval buildings, emulating Gothic architecture, in which many of these stories take place. This extreme form of romanticism was very popular in England and Germany. The English Gothic novel also led to new novel types such as the German Schauerroman and the French Georgia.”----Wikipedia

Reserve the weekend NOW for writing 

YOUR OWN "Dark Matter" (Gothic Fiction, Noir, Horror ) in a short story, novel or film

OCTOBER  2021  (be ready for Halloween)

$100for whole two days with lots of good food and holiday goodies!

If you are writing, or want to write or publish your Gothic short story, novel, poems, or screenplay this condensed course is for you all in one scary weekend scaring yourself as does Stephen King.

We will look intently at some of the most famous Gothic works from today to yesterday, enjoy writing sessions with apt prompts, workshop, eat healthy food, drink plenty of water, (or spirits?) and enjoy the thrilling stuff of horror, mystery and the macabre. And if you want to stay overtime, we can enjoy some wine and cheese while we enjoy some horror films you may not have seen. At Dorothy's we have a large and rare collection of films.  

A bargain mini-working vacation with a written product you can take with you when you leave..

Maybe a special surprise guest will appear to add some gory highlights to your sojourn in the woods high in the California “alps” once known as “little Switzerland” where the streets have names like Edelweiss, San Moritz, Jungfrau, and such. We may even sit around a fire and tell scary tales invoking the ghost of  Mary Shelley when perhaps you will be even more inspired to publish your own classic horror novel?.

Summit Seminars P.O. Box 36 Crestline California 92325

Get a small group of writer friends and make it a party. 

sign up now while you are wanting to do this.

No limit to participants.

Opening with a big blast of cold facts! Grammar Bites (not bytes) Refresh or re-learn the current basics. Whenever you speak or write somebody is silently correcting your grammar and may even be judging your intelligence or? So, how about taking a new look at the subject? 

A One day intense study of the most common mistakes and how to easily correct them. The Grammar Lady is in.

October 19th'reserve your place early.

40 dollars (lunch included)  This seminar has proven to be the most fun and the most popular of all. Once with 9 participants when limited to 6. This year limited to readers of this website only. A sort of private occasion.

Can you believe it? 

Drop a note with your check (fully guaranteed refundable if you cancel) to Summit Seminars P.O. Box 36 Crestline, CA. Commit to a yearly checkup.

Did you know that the rules of grammar change all the time? Learn all about it in a day!  

Sign in now. 

A special day NOT exclusively for writers, but anyone who wants to catch up with the latest rules and style of English grammar. October 19th-


(This will not be announced anywhere but here in order to keep the horde from bombarding us when we are having fun tossing our language about.)




November 2nd

a special one day seminar

Are you a poet? Do you keep your poems a secret that you only share with a friend or two? Would you like to know about the world of poetry publishers and maybe even attempt to see your work in print and share it with a wider world? 

One day in the mountains at a writers' retreat. Plenty of time to share with other poets who come together to talk of the highest form of thinking, according to T.S.Eliot.

$40 for  materials and lunch, inspiration and information about the process.


Dare  to be a professional writer.



"The business of being a writer"

Everything a writer needs to know about getting an agent, finding a publisher, preparing a book proposal, submitting stories, poems and plays, the proper way to submit by mail, formats for query letters, the difference between self-publishing and traditional publishers, the way to promote your work both with or without an established  major publishing house, Book tours, how to schedule your own promotional tour, how to advertise your work, publicizing yourself, handouts with important information on all or most of the above subjects, texts you may want to buy for your writing and publishing life, getting an ISBN for your book, copyright laws, securing your rights to your work from plagiarism, and selling rights to media, both foreign and domestic. Intellectual property laws, and more. $200. December dates to be announced.

Summit Seminars

P.O. Box 36

Crestline, CA 92325

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July 13th 14th 

Non-Fiction writing.

Literary essays. Travel articles. Memoir chapters. op-ed pieces. college essays and papers from freshmen through a graduate dissertations, and more.

Just in time for your vacation, pay for the whole trip with a piece and two or three pictures of your destination. It is a reasonable, smart and profitable way to travel anytime. Learn how to write editorials from a writer with a degree in writing for newspapers, TV and radio (journalism) with plenty of experience and travels around the world and getting paid for it.

$150 for information, process, skillsets, handouts and more.


Science Fiction/Speculative Fiction

With a very special guest writer

Complete your work, those ideas you have not set to paper yet, and be inspired big time!


September 28th- the Mystery dinner

Murder on the Titanic!

One Day of writing and enjoying playing like Agatha Christie and all the rest!

With gala dinner! 

From 1 pm until 6 pm.