A Reading Group Guide
This Is the Place

Carolyn Howard-Johnson often permits educators to use excerpts from her work with no royalties owed. That includes this guideline for reading groups. She asks that proper credits, order information, and this reading guide be included with handouts or online assignments. Although This Is the Place was published in 2001, it is still available on Amazon new and used feature .

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This Is the Place

For a growing list of links and information on tolerance, peace, Utah and more.
For Carolyn's first person essay, "Beating Time at Its Own Game, click here.
Go back to the This Is the Place  main page.
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Study Guide
For the Multiple Award-Winning Novel
This Is the Place

ISBN: 1588513521  Publisher: AmErica House


“When you live amid beauty sometimes you don’t recognize discrimination, and, if you do, you prefer not to acknowledge it.”
~Quotation from This Is the Place



Study Guide:

JayCe Crawford, author of The Pope and the Rainbow Sprinkles says, "Carolyn Howard-Johnson's This Is the Place is a "story that rings heartbreakingly true." A young journalist realizes that because she is half Mormon and half Protestant she is not suitable material for love. She delves into her Mormon heritage and journals her way through prejudice indo redemption. She learns to mend her own life when she finds she cannot mend her world. This novel, set in Salt Lake City in the 50s, reveals not only complexities of the heart but the secrets of what some consider a mysterious place and culture including a take on its place in western history.


  1. What do you think of the title, This Is the Place? Do you find a metaphor in it or does it simply refer to the Salt Lake Valley? When pioneer Brigham Young uttered those words, do you think that he meant only that this was the ground on which he would settle his people or do you think he had something else in mind? What you you think would be the differences between what Brigham Young said and meant and the way the author uses the very same words? What are the similarities?

  2. Skylar Eccles is surprise to find that four generations of women -- her own ancestors -- made decisions very similar to the one she is about to make. How does the meat -and-bones study of genealogy differ from the work that Skylar undertakes? How is it similar? If you went back into your own family tree, what do you think you would find about yourself hiding in its branches?

  3. The protagonist of this story makes some decisions that were uncommon for her time. Find some of the political and cultural differences between the 50s when she was struggling to find herself and now. How do you think your life would be different if you had encountered comparable difficulties? Do women still face similar problems?

  4. We have all experienced intolerance in our lives. How do Skylar's experiences differ from what you have seen or felt? How are they similar?

  5. Utah is a viable character in this novel and Skylar's love of it is palpable. Did you find it a place you'd like to to visit? Why or why not? If you live in Utah, were Sky's surroundings similar to what you see in your daily life? Different?

  6. Skylar learns through writing but at first she cannot consciously come to terms with the lessons she is searching for. Do you think that journaling works that way? How do you think Sky's writing affects her life, her decisions? Has journaling been a learning experience in your life? Do you think it could be?

  7. We find recurring objects in This Is the Place -- quilts, the implements of sewing, mountains, irises. Is this accidental? Do you think it was intended by the author or came from her subconscious? Which ones did you notice as you were reading? What do you think they signify?


I am compiling a  list of movies (including many independent films) , plays, and books that explore tolerance and acceptance. A little about Utah, too. Please visit that page on this site. Enjoy!

 Find at least one tip on writing, promotion or tech on every page of this Web site. 

Mini Biography
For Carolyn Howard-Johnson

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Check out the links below for an assortment of focused media kits.)

Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s first novel, This Is the Place, won eight awards. Her second book, Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered, creative nonfiction, won three. She was an instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program for nearly a decade and her book The Frugal Book Promoteris recommended reading for her classes, was named USA Book News’ “Best Professional Book 2004," and was given the Irwin Award. Her second book in the How To Do It Frugally series is The Frugal Editor won USA Book News and Reader Views Literary Awards and the campaign for it won New Generations Marketing Award. Both books are now in their second ecitions.

Her chapbook of poetry Tracings, was named to the Compulsive Reader's Ten Best Reads list and was given the Military Writers' Society of America's Silver Award of Excellence. A poem titled "Endangered Species" won the Franklin Christoph prize in 2010 and she wrote the  multi award-winning Celebration Series of chapbooks with Magdalena Ball. 

Carolyn is the recipient of the California Legislature’s Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and her community's Character and Ethics Committee awarded her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly's list of 14 "San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen."

Media Kits

Media Kit for Program Directors for Radio,
TV, Conferences, Radio Shows

Media Kit for Book, Entertainment and Feature Editors

Media Kit Focused on Carolyn's Poetry and Literary Works

Media Kit for Retail Professionals

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Buy Links for Carolyn's Books

Great Fiction
HARKENING at Amazon.

Great Fiction
HARKENING at Amazon in their new and used feature.

Great Poetry
Purchase TRACINGS (Finishing Line Press) at Amazon.
IMPERFECT ECHOES: Writing Truth and Justice with Capital Letters,
lie and oppression with Small

Give the gift of poetry with a chapbook from Magdalena Ball's
My Celebration Series

CHERISHED PULSE: Unconventional Love Poetry
IMAGINING THE FUTURE: Ruminations on Fathers and Other Masculine Apparitions
SHE WORE EMERALD THEN: Reflections on Motherhood
BLOOMING RED: Christmas Poetry for the Rational
DEEPER INTO THE POND: Celebration of Femininity
SUBLIME PLANET: Celebrating Earth and the Universe

HowToDoItFrugally Series for Writers
Second Edition

Survive and Thrive Series of HowToDoItFrugally Books for Retailers

Most of Carolyn's books are also available for the Kindle reader.
Did you know that with the Free app, Kindle can be adapted to any reader--even your PC!

 "Careers that are not fed die as readily
as any living organism given no sustenance." 
Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Studio photography by Uriah Carr
3 Dimensional Book Cover Images by iFOGO
Logo by Lloyd King

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This is the Place, a novel



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Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips for Writers

"I have been a professional writer 40 years, and am also a tenured full professor of journalism. Carolyn's Sharing with Writers newsletter is  most useful for me--and for my students. I emphasize to them that while research is 90% of writing, and the actual writing is about 10%, there's another 100% out there called promotion. Carolyn shows numerous ways to get the message to the mass media."
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The New Book Review
Named to
Master's in English.org Online Universities'

101 Essential Sites for Voracious Readers

Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites
Sharing with Writers blog.


Best Book Award for The Frugal Book Promoter (2004) and The Frugal Editor (2008) and the Second Edition of The Frugal Book Promoter (2011).


Reader Views Literary Award for The Frugal Editor

New Generation Award for Marketing and Finalist for The Frugal Editor

Book Publicists of Southern California's Irwin Award

Military Writers Award of Excellence for
Tracings, A Chapbook of Poetry.

A Retailer's Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotion wins author Military Writers Society of America's Author of the Month award for March, 2010


Gold Medal Award from Military Writers Society of America, 2010. MWSA also gave a nod to She Wore Emerald Then, a chapbook of poetry honoring mothers.

The Frugal Editor Named #! on Top Ten Editing Books list.

Finalist New Generation Book Awards 2012, The Frugal Book Promoter; Finalist 2010 The Frugal Editor;
Winner 2010 Marketing Campaign for the Frugal Editor

The Oxford Award
the alumna who exemplifies the Delta Gamma precept of service to her community and who, through the years, devotes her talents to improve the quality of life around her.

The Frugal Book Promoter is runner-up in the how-to category for the Los Angeles Book Festival 2012 awards.

Glendale City Seal
Winner Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts
Glendale California's Arts and Culture Commission and the City of Glendale Library,

And more than a dozen other awards for Carolyn's novel, short story collection and poetry. See the awards page on this site.


What Utah Authors Are Saying:

“[This Is the Place] instills the conflicts of Mormonism so gracefully and incisively...”
James W. Ure, author of Leaving the Fold

“It's been a week … and still the characters fight for attention in my thoughts.”
Warren Stucki, author of Boy’s Pond