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The Studio is a center for writers and readers of English. It is presently closed but will reopen in its new home in a centuries-old stone building in the Old City of Acre (Akko), Israel, when building renovations are completed. In its previous incarnation The Studio hosted Workshops, Master Classes and a Literary Series.

Workshops: Fiction (Evan Fallenberg), Manuscript (Evan Fallenberg), Children's Literature (Amanda Cohen), Creative Nonfiction (Sherri Mandell), Short Fiction (Tania Hershman); Reading Like a Writer (Joan Leegant).

Master classes (a sampling): Story Structure in Fiction, Narrative (Joan Leegant); Fiction (Abby Frucht); Fiction, Memoir and the Landscape Between (Sarah van Arsdale and Peter Bricklebank); Stories of Immigration (Ilana Blumberg).

The 2012-2013 Literary Series featured:

  • Asaf Schurr, Israeli translator and novelist
  • Abbie Rosner (with Balkees Abu-Rabieh), Galilee culinary tour guide, writer and journalist
  • Ilene Prusher, US/Israeli journalist and novelist
  • Ilana Blumberg, American academic and creative nonfiction writer
  • Martin Fletcher, UK/Israel, NBC bureau chief and fiction and nonfiction author
  • Adir Miller, Israeli screenwriter, comedian and actor
  • Rachel Kadish, American novelist

The 2010-2011 Literary Series featured:

  • Gilad Evron, Israeli playwright (Ulysses on Bottles)
  • Yael Hedaya, Israeli novelist (Eden, Accidents, Housekeeping)
  • Oded (Max) Brenner, US-based chocolatier and author
  • Yair Lapid, Israeli columnist, journalist, playwright, novelist (Memories After My Death)
  • Evan Fallenberg, Israel-based novelist, launching party for When We Danced on Water
The 2009-2010 Literary series featured
  • Eshkol Nevo (novels: Homesick, World Cup Wishes)
  • David Ehrlich (writer and founder/proprietor of Tmol Shilshom literary café)
  • Karen Alkalay-Gut (poet & performance artist)
  • Etgar Keret (books: Missing Kissinger, The Bus Driver Who Wanted to be God, Kneller's Happy Campers, The Nimrod Flip-Out; films: Jellyfish, Skin Deep)
  • Alon Hilu (novels: Death of a Monk, The House of Dajani)
  • Joan Leegant (story collection: An Hour in Paradise, novel: Wherever You Go)

The 2008-2009 Literary series featured

  • Matt Beynon Rees (the Omar Yussef Palestinian mystery series)
  • Joan Leegant (An Hour in Paradise)
  • Reva Mann (The Rabbi's Daughter)
  • Dorit Rabinyan (The Persian Bride, Strand of a Thousand Pearls/Our Weddings)
  • Haim Watzman (Company C: An American's Life as a Citizen-Soldier in Israel, A Crack in the Earth: A Journey Up Israel's Rift Valley)
  • Ron Leshem (Beaufort)
  • Meir Shalev (A Pigeon and a Boy, The Blue Mountain, Esau, In the Beginning…)
  • Tina Davis (book design; art books; children's books)



November 2004: "Voice" at Beit Oren on Mount Carmel

May 2005: "Writing from the Senses" at Ein Gedi on the Dead Sea

February 2006: "Vision and Revision" at Maaleh Hachamishah in the Judean Hills

November 2006: "Characterization" at Maaleh Hachamishah in the Judean Hills

November 2007: "Talk to Me" (Dialogue in Fiction and Non-Fiction) at Neve Shalom-Wahat al-Salam Guest House in the Judean foothills

November 2009: "Crossing Genres" (novel-writing, playwriting, poetry, creative nonfiction) at Maaleh Hachamishah in the Judean Hills 

SELECTED TESTIMONIALS from previous retreats:

The best part of the retreat was the spirited instruction.
-Henning Schwarz, Copenhagen

Thank you for introducing me to a new circle of talented, thoughtful people.
-Tamara Mendelson, Raanana

I went there to have fun. To take the pressure off and just return to my old love of writing. And enjoy it I did. Tremendously…The techniques helped me overcome previous hurdles in writing. Main one for me was a critical obstacle: getting past my inhibitions to START and just let that creative energy spill onto the page…The revision process that follows becomes more important, but less painful, as expectations are different.   
- Vivian Cohen-Leisorek, Modi’in

I'm back in the enterprise software pressure cooker but part of me hasn't left the atmosphere of the retreat. Decompressing? Maybe, but I'm not sure I want to decompress completely and lose this state of mind altogether. The retreat lit a small flame in me and I'd really rather it did not go out.
- Hal Wrobel, Kfar Yona

Evan, how grateful I am that I took a chance and signed up for the writers’ workshop. It was the first such workshop I have taken and was a bit apprehensive…So here is the good news…great news. I met fellow writers. This is a huge thing for me. More than one generous soul has offered to read and critique my book…and vice versa. We have even made plans to start a writers club.  So thank you for bringing together fellow wannabe writers along with the great job you did organizing, planning and worrying.
- Sue Richter, Zichron Yaacov

When I got home I felt as if I had just stepped off a long plane ride, and it did take a few days to settle back in. I so enjoyed the retreat because you managed to create a community that was warm and supportive. The leaders shared their struggles and victories and made writing seem accessible to all who were willing to put forth the effort.
- Susan Braun-Svorai, Williamsville, NY

The retreat was a very meaningful, wonderful experience for me and might just give me the courage to take my writing more seriously.
- Dr. Yvonne Tauber, Jerusalem

What a resounding success. I can't describe the sense of satisfaction and excited fulfillment with which I headed back home. You arranged the whole thing marvelously, taking care of each detail – though to the outsider it might just appear that everything flowed "effortlessly". I know how much effort goes into that "effortlessness". And what a delicious mix of people. Talent and desire and earnestness and respect were just some of the qualities I enjoyed. So many stories, such rich life experiences, such a variety, and all lovers of the word. All striving to articulate something deeply personal, seeking to hone their skills.
Thank you, thank you, more than I can say. How lucky to have found you…
-Ruth Abraham, Herzliya Pituah

I am still floating! Can't seem to nor do I want to, come down to earth. I spent a wonderful Shabbat in the magnificent Holy City recounting my experiences of the last couple of days, to all who wanted to listen (and probably to several who didn't!). It was just great. You have given so many people so many things, including inspiration, confidence, ideas, knowledge, and a great deal of friendship and support. What a lot of mitzvot, all in three days!
You'd better start planning the next one.
-Judy Hammond, Caesarea

Thank you once again for the wonderful writing retreat last week. As usual, everything flowed beautifully. I returned home feeling again how important writing is to me and the need to set aside time to do so. I really appreciate all your efforts that go into planning, organizing and teaching. I continue to learn so much from you both. I also gained so much from the opportunity to be with other writers on the retreat.
-Judy Gray, Jerusalem

I was reading a short story in The New Yorker yesterday. Found myself asking all kinds of questions - what is the point? Who is the main character? What is redundant? Seems I learnt something. It was great, both humbling and stimulating. Looking forward to next time!!!
-Prof Boaz Porter, Beersheva

I have lots of wonderful friends but most of them have mystified looks on their faces when I tell them about going away on a writing retreat. They just don’t get it. So it’s good being with people who understand, and don’t ask, so what do you DO there? As a long-time congress organizer, I was pleased, but not really surprised, to see that you made every person at the retreat feel wanted and special. We all relished the obvious interest you both took in our work as well as in our wellbeing. You were so calm and self-assured that you passed that feeling on to your participants; this helped us to write those twelve-minute exercises and even the pesky forty five-minute one. There was no burden of stress which might have held us back - instead, we were able to focus on the task and do the job we'd come to do.
-Meera Jacobson, Netanya

I've just finished going over all the "stuff" from the Retreat. I had to list all the exercises in the order we did them, just to sort out the jumble in my head. It was such a fantastically enriching experience and has given me so much food for thought, and so many starting points for essays, memoirs, creative fiction, etc., that it's going to take a very long time to absorb it all and produce something tangible. I could probably spend a week, writing from morning till night and still not get to the end of the list of things I could write if I had the time!
- Dr. Jenni Tsafrir, Petah Tikva

Clearly you put a lot of thought, time and effort into the organization. You did everything possible to make people feel comfortable. And you are a great team. The sub-plot of the retreat was, for me, respect. The respect you showed each other, the respect you both showed for the efforts people made, respect for the schedule that you set, and finally, respect for the written word.
-Laurie Bisberg, Haifa


© 2011 Evan Fallenberg.