Screenwriters Lab in Patmos Greece

Screenwriters Lab in Greece

July 9 - July 31, 2014

The remote island of Patmos, Greece located on the beautiful Aegean Sea, is the setting for this 3-week intensive screenwriting course. While the Department of Visual and Media Arts offers many media writing classes, students don't often have dedicated allotments of time to focus solely on their writing. This program offers students the opportunity to concentrate on and improve their film and television writing skills. A select number of VMA/WLP students will participate in this screenwriting lab comprised of discussion, workshops, writing exercises, cold readings, and focused blocks of time set aside for writing.

The program is open to VMA and WLP students. Juniors and seniors may apply to the program. 10 Emerson students will have the opportunity to participate.

PatmosDuring any given semester Emerson students take on a myriad of activities including feature writing and television writing courses, production projects, exams and papers. Creativity cannot always happen on demand during a busy semester. But with obstacles removed, creativity can explode. During this program students can completely immerse themselves in the world of their stories stimulated by a peaceful and inspirational setting.

Known as the "sacred island" Patmos is the place where Saint John wrote the Book of Revelation. The island is located off the west coast of Turkey and dominated by St. John Theologian Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Students will have plenty of time to participate in group excursions, including a trip to the Patmos International Film Festival. Students can also explore the island's wild beaches, remote tavernas, blue coves, rocky mountain pathways and and the stylish city of Skala, its harbor town.

Students will come to the program with a screenplay project and their own laptop with wireless capability. The screenwriting lab will adopt a professional writing approach with an intensive syllabus, work strategies and strict deadlines. Writers will have a minimum of 5 hours day to write on their own. Early mornings and late afternoons will allow students to have their pages work-shopped, then go back and make revisions, based on notes received. Emerson students will receive 4 VMA credits for this course. Professor Jean Stawarz will teach the course.

Students must arrive to the program with the following equipment:

  • Laptop with wireless capability.
  • Screenwriting software equipped with the most recent version of Final Draft (although Celtx or Movie Magic Screenwriter are acceptable)
  • Notebooks
  • Two thumb drives
  • A portable printer with spare print cartridges (recommended)
  • A ream of paper (recommended)
  • Bring your original software disks. If you have a hard drive or software issue while in Greece, you might not be able to fix it if you don’t have the software.
  • Mac users should bring their own VGA adapter if they think they might need to hook their laptop to a projector for a class presentation.


Type of Expense

Estimated Costs Included in the Program Fee

Additional Costs Not Included in the Program Fee

Tuition (4 credits) $730 per credit 2,920
Registration Fee 30

This cost includes: Housing (double room in a 3-star hotel with en-suite bathroom), daily breakfast, some ground transportation, a welcome and farewell dinner, all scheduled group excursions (including boat trips around the island), admission to cultural sites and specialized guided tours, and entry to select programs at The Patmos International Film Festival

Round Trip Airfare (est.) $1,200 - $1,500
Administration Fee 200
Passport $135
Transportation to and from Athens Airport to Pireaus to catch the Ferry to Patmos + Cost of round-trip ferry boat (shared sleeper cabin) from Athens to Patmos (estimated travel time = 9 hours) $250
International Health Insurance MANDATORY - check with your insurance company to see if you are covered in Europe
Personal Spending Money - includes cost of most meals, local transportation, cell phone and sim cards and entertainment Varies by personal habits - (plan for $1,500 +/- )
Total Estimated Cost $8,350 $3,185

Current as of 5/2/2014 - subject to change until finalized

  • Health Insurance Coverage in Europe: Participants in the Screenwriter's Lab in Greece must have an insurance plan that provides coverage while in Europe.
  • If you have the EC Aetna Student Health Plan you are covered in Europe (as required) for participation in the program.
  • If you feel your current insurance is not adequate, please research a plan that is. View the Health Insurance Requirements section.


Students must plan to arrive in ATHENS BEFORE 1PM local time

Tuesday July 8 Depart USA for Athens Greece
Wednesday July 9

Arrive to Athens International Airport in Greece. Students must plan to arrive in ATHENS, Greece BEFORE 1PM local time so they enough time to travel to the Port of Piraeus to catch a ferry to Patmos.

Students must then take transportation to the BLUE STAR Ferry Docking Station in the Port of Piraeus in order to catch the 7:00 PM (19:00) ferry to the Island of Patmos (this is a 8-hour overnight trip). Students will arrive in Patmos at 3:15 AM on Thursday July 10. They will be met by program leaders and taken to the hotel.

Thursday July 10 Arrive at Patmos at 3:15 AM. Students will be met by program leaders at the Patmos ferry port and taken to their hotel.
Friday - Saturday July 11 - 12 Settle into accommodations and orient yourself with your surroundings

Sunday July 13 Mandatory Orientation Program with Professor Jean Stawarz (details TBA)
Monday July 14 Screenwriting Lab begins at 9am
Wednesday July 30 Screenwriting Lab Program ends.
Thursday July 31 Depart Patmos and take 11:55 pm (23:55) ferry boat back to Pireaus (8 hour overnight trip)
Friday August 1 Arrive to Port of Piraeus at 08:05 AM.

*As of 5/2/14 and subject to change