Dorothy's Home (retreat)

A Writer's Cabin:

A Mountain​ Retreat

Announcing our new low cost

"Summit Seminars"

Inviting writers of all genres to a quiet hideaway where you can imagine, write, and work with just as much creative coaching, instruction, and

inspiration as you want....never more than 6 participants at any time

Finish your script, novel (historical, romance, mystery), poetry chapbook, poetry collection, children's and adult literature, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, stage play, travelogue, interview, essay, and all with the coaching of an award-winning author, poet and playwright and very special guests.

Our goal is to get you to publication and solid intellectual property (copyright) for your legacy. From start to finish, work toward your goal.

Write for information today!

Summit Seminars

P.O. Box 36

Crestline Village, CA 92325

The new schedule for 2018 is here! 

Scroll to the bottom for a rich menu 

of seminars to choose from.​

First Anniversary is here, and so is my accounting firm/business manager! The rates have gone up, like taxes. Inevitable.

This is to announce that my modus operandi is changing today, by order of my business manager who has looked over my books. (To the writers who have taken a seminar from me at Summit Seminars your fees will not change due to your being my charter members/first clients, and now friends. henceforth you will be rewarded for your initial trust in my ability.) Summit Seminars is a real, registered business and my adviser tells me if I do not get a return on my investment soon, this little enterprise may be moving to Cimarron, New Mexico next summer. So, because I love the little cabin I have so lovingly prepared for writers/guests, and because I want to stay here to "age in place," I am complying with his orders in order to remain where I am now.

 Following are the newly ordered, requested adjustments for the revised business plan for "Dorothy's Home."  First, I offer the following services to writers: challenges, honest and helpful feedback, advice and direction, publishing knowledge, submission and query letter information, direction, inspirational prompts,long term interest, editing help, consulting and coaching. In other words, I am a serious resource for writers of fiction, stage or screen, poetry and memoir. To  those who are just starting out or those who have published much, I am here for you. Second, I must now limit my working hours to four days a week from Friday at 9am until Monday at 5pm. (909) 589-0969 Third, all offerings have changed in that writers now may purchase one day, weekend, or three or six seminars at a time in advance and last-minute applications may not be honored. You must apply in writing, email. post card, Facebook, ([email protected]Fourth, I will respond within one business day to any and all requests. Fifth, every single person who attends my retreat will be guaranteed my complete attention and advice, so there must be a strict limit to participants in order to allow me to relate personally with each; therefore, each seminar will be limited to six (6) writers. These fees are still a bargain if you are serious about taking your writing to the next level without enrolling in a college course, and I guarantee  more nurturing than found in academy settings. Lastly, All applications must include payment in advance, guaranteed returnable-in-full if cancelled.


Following are the opportunities at Dorothy's Home and Summit Seminars at the moment-- with costs: One day private consultation (9 to 4) $150. One day scheduled and announced seminar (10 to 4) $100. Two day writing seminar (any genre) $200. Preparation for publishing an already completed manuscript (10 to 4) $150=for up through 3 days.. Three weekend seminars of your choosing ordered together at one time $400. A group of Six weekend seminars or any combination of seminars and retreat days $500.

These fees are far below those usually charged for professional consultations and/or assistance, still a bargain if you are serious about taking your writing to the next level without enrolling in a college course, and I guarantee more nurturing to a beginning writer than found in academy settings.  For more information, please call (909) 589-0969 Leave a message and speak your call-back number clearly, especially the last two numbers.

Summit Seminars

at Dorothy's Home

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

Opening in MARCH for a full SCHEDULE

SCROLL (way down) NOW for 2018 A new year!

Schedule your special 1st 2018 weekend seminar 10 TO 4 EACH DAY. 

Request your place at a table of 6. $200. APRIL 14/15th 10 to 6pm both days!

  • Writing in the Gothic Style. If you love Edgar Alan Poe, you will learn how to incorporate the style of Gothic fiction into your stories and poems. You will discover an exciting way to write flash fiction, short stories, poems and anything else with a sharpened consciousness and new perspective..........oh my!
  • Join us at the table for this requested seminar. Taught by Joan Johnson who has written stories for the popular Comic Con   best seller  "Diabolique Magazine" .
  •  P.O.Box 36 Crestline, CA 92325 

Joan's 2017 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 Now online. (February edition) Raven's Perch journal (online) published five poems and one short story during the year. Thank you for all editors who appreciated my work in 2017.

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 on

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:

Today, 4:27 PM

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. 

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.


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.

Now! A new Bookstore !

Books for sale on writing, about writing,

by writers both local and otherwise

Open during every seminar

at Dorothy's 

" is fair to say that our country is experiencing a moment of popular anger, political vertigo, and institutional fragility that is almost without precedent."  Jeffrey Goldberg from Atlantic magazine

When applying for any upcoming event or seminar, please be sure your letter/application arrives in the Crestline Post office box at least a week in advance. Since we limit participants to 6 at any time, we may not have an opening near the posted dates. We will be adding weekend seminars when we reach a minimum of four additional requests.  Write a note with questions about Summit Seminars, and/or disclosure about upcoming guest artists, writers, musicians, yoga instructors, whirling dervish parties, films, menus....

Summit Seminars P.O. Box 36 Crestline CA 92325 

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 Gothic Fiction!

If you are writing, or want to write or publish your Gothic short story, novel, poems, or screenplay this condensed course is for you.

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. (limited to 6 participants)

APRIL 14th and 15th


sign up now while you are wanting to do this.

Limited to only 6 writers

2018 Schedules seminars/workshops/classes

Opening with a big blast of cold facts! Grammar is basic. 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.

March 3rd. Saturday from 10 until 4 pm. Spend a lovely day in an easygoing atmosphere at Dorothy's Home/Summit Seminars. 

$100 for your welcome to a small group (limited to 6)  Write now because this seminar has proven to be the most fun. 

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.

March 10th-Saturday 



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.

$100 for day, plus materials and lunch. And lots of inspiration and information about the process.

Dare to learn how to take your writing to a new level.

keep scrolling down and then click the upper right hand corner for more under 2018.


"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.

Please note this seminar is limited to only 6 writers at any one time, so send your request for your place at our table now. 

Summit Seminars

P.O. Box 36

Crestline, CA 92325

APRIL 21/22


  • ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • Please click on Schedule for the whole year to see upcoming scheduled seminars.

  • All seminars daily from 10-4 and limited to  6 applicants  in order to guarantee personal attention.

(concierge service for mountain entertainment and sports events)

Acceptance is based on "first come, first served" principle, limited to the first 6 qualified applicants. If there is a waiting list, any cancellations will make room for the next writer who applied.

You must send your application, a check for the seminar  and, of course, any questions  to:

 Summit Seminars P.O. Box 36 Crestline Village, CA 92325 to be received at least a week before the beginning date. All payments are totally refundable if cancelled or received too late to be processed, or if your plans change and you cannot attend the seminar you chose; the next applicant will replace you and your payment will be totally refundable upon notice at any time.

Price includes all snacks, continental breakfast and lunch each day



You will be catered to while writing . A continental breakfast and a healthy lunch menu is available every day. Snacks, coffee, tea and water are always available, and at 3pm there will be sharing with your convivial small group of companion writers during our positive  critique periods.


In a  directions package we will will send you a list of recommended lodges, cabins and hotels in and around Lake Arrowhead within a very short driving distance. Low cost and discounted rates for guests. 

If you want to extend your stay in the mountains and enjoy the pleasures of Southern California, Lake Arrowhead is one hour from Palm Springs, an hour and a half from San Diego and two hours from L.A. (Hollywood). Crestline Village is a four season resort with boating, fishing, swimming (water park )in summer and famous ski trails in winter, all this at 6,000 feet above the valley of the Inland Empire.

The Rim of the World Highway has been named one of the top ten most beautiful scenic drives in the country!


"I learned without even knowing I was learning. I want to thank you for that....Aside from helping me  write better essays this has helped me become a better communicator in general. Thank you for that too."

----Christina Medina, MD 

"Joan is one of the most brilliant creative minds I have ever known. She is the reason I continue to write today and was a profound influence on my creativity."              

---Judith Gardner, Professional author and story teller, and owner of The Gardner Gallery in Little Rock, Arkansas                 


"I found Ms. Johnson to be passionate and learned....committed to the educational and personal development of her students." ---Manuel Perea, Instructor,​ Pasadena City College

Crestline is adjacent to Lake Arrowhead and is a 4 season resort. Our retreat cabin is situated high in the San Bernardino National Forest in Southern California where we are two hours from the ocean at Seal Beach  and/or Los Angeles, in winter you can ski in the morning and surf after lunch.  While writing, and being coached you will be in a cozy  pine cabin in a natural forest (cedars, oak and pine, mountain laurel)  in which to write, and if it is cold, snowing, and/or you would prefer to write indoors, we have a floor to ceiling river rock fireplace and cozy dens, nooks, sofas, and an extensive library where you can tuck yourself up with your laptop. We are a Wi-fi property, indoors and outside. Overnight accomodations are available at an additional cost. Please inquire.

Oh and we have flying squirrels, stellar blue jays, colorful juncos, "Woody" woodpeckers, raccoons and a very rare bear who will not bother you as long as our mascot, Daisy Buchanan*, a genuine bear-dog is on patrol. Bring your camera!

*She's spoiled rotten and always leaves the messes she makes for others to clean up after her. W/apologies to one of our favorite authors.

Please write to receive a schedule of activities and contents of  upcoming seminars through March 2019. Also daily rates for solitary writing space, personal instruction and small writing classes.

BOOK NOW (only 6 writers in each seminar)

Pleas send a brief bio and description of your reason for applying to P.O.Box 36 Crestline, CA 92325

Phone calls and e-mails will not be considered

Saturday - March 17th Writing the short story from flash to novella 10-4pm (limited to 6 participants)

In the tradition of E.A. Poe and RL Stevenson, the short story we will write on a day celebrating the Irish, a race of story-tellers. I guarantee you will leave with a complete story ready to submit to a publisher. I cannot promise it will be accepted, but I promise you will be so happy with your work that you will not give up after any rejection. What's more, you will be a writer my friend. Dare me to do this for you!

$100 for all you need to feel renewed and refreshed and excited about writing!


One brightly dark Saturday in March may be the day you had the best beginning! 

March 24th

from 10 until 4pm Limited to 6 writers drop that post card in the mail now!

Writing Noir

Ah the Femme Fatale and the Chump who loves her. From the bedroom to the boardroom, from heaven to hell....all this in one novel, film, or short story. For as long as it lasts it is compelling to something deep inside of us that knows all too well...the story. Noir has certain elements necessary to the genre: a street with pavement wet with rain, sleek black cars and a girl in a sequined jacket or gown, venetian blinds or fishing nets, one piece bathing suits and placid lakes that hold dark secrets, and so much more. Come to this seminar to explore and discover this exciting style of story-telling.

Come for a day of study and entertainment. A platter of the best will be served up in 3 courses to leave you satisfied and ready to dream your story. From 2 until 3 you will have the quiet privacy to write. From 3 to 4 or as long as it takes, you will have the opportunity to share your work, your plans for the work, and information about where to send it whether a producer, agent, literary journal, pulp magazine, or ? Come for the fun and leave with a new piece of writing.

 First come, first served! join us!

P.O. Box 36 Crestline CA 92325  Summit Seminars


More Seminars 

 announced soon!

Click on upper right: Seminars 2018