Hillary Johnson is a writer, photographer and teacher of writing, meditation, and mindful movement. She practices yoga and reiki. She writes memoir and fiction. Her short story collection, titled, The Reason Vincent is Alone, is currently under revision. She has a novel in progress, Sea of Tranquility.

Winner of a first place Columbia University Scholastic Press Association Award for her essay, “Unspeakable Things,” her work has also been published in Chicago Literati, Hair Trigger, The Ghost Factory, Prolonged Insult, and The Thing About Hope Is…. Her essays have also aired on WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio.

She leads intimate retreats for writers which explore the space of story using meditation and mindful movement as well as writing exercises to enhance connections between the body, mind, heart and writer’s voice. Her retreats create a safe space for exploration and experimentation. Exercises are designed to help the writer drop into the present moment non-judgmentally, allowing whatever arises in the well of memory or imagination to be fully present and available for exploration with a soft heart and a sharp mind.

She also coaches writers individually to develop new work or refine what is already on the page. One of her specialties is helping writers who are feeling stuck or who are looking to untangle the spiritual tangles we may at times find ourselves in.

She believes that each of us has a special gift or true calling that we must discover and claim; that we must cultivate that gift by going full out after it, constantly aiming to improve, and that we best serve our gift by releasing expectations for particular outcomes and doing our work recognizing our true selves, that is to say, by remembering that we’re part of a large and indeed infinite whole.


She is a sailor and dark chocolate fan. Her spirit animal is a border collie, cattle dog or perhaps a mix of both.


 Zoo Zoo summer 08