John E. Johnson, executive director of the American Screenwriters Assn., died Nov. 2 in Cincinnati after a brief illness. He was 51.Born in Maine, Johnson began his film and TV career as an actor in the film “Simple Justice,” worked as a casting assistant on the film “This Train” and wrote screenplays, stage plays and radio dramas. He formed the American Screenwriters Assn., which sponsors the ASA International Screenplay Competition, and has spoken on screenwriting at numerous conferences. In 2000, he negotiate ASA’s acquisition of the Selling to Hollywood conference, which is now known as the ASA International Screenwriters Conference. He is survived by his wife Margaret, a daughter, a son, his mother, a brother and a sister.