Screenwriters Lab in Patmos and Athens Greece


May 26 - June 27, 2016

The remote island of Patmos, Greece located on the beautiful Aegean Sea, is the setting for this 4-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 will begin with a 2-night stay in Athens. Participants will visit many of the famous historical sites and museums of Athens, including the Acropolis.

The program is open to VMA and WLP students. Rising juniors and seniors may apply. Grad students may apply with special permission. Enrollment is limited to 12.

Patmos Greece
Patmos Greece

During 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. Patmos is a special and historic destination among the Greek islands. The island has a particular draw among writers, artists, filmmakers, painters and poets seeking faraway beauty and quiet inspiration. Patmos is crowned by the thousand year-old St. John Theologian Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Students will have plenty of time to participate in small group excursions, explore the island's wild beaches, charming tavernas, blue coves, mountain pathways, the whitewashed old city of Chora and the welcoming harbor town of Skala. 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 8 VMA credits. 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
  • 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.

Summer 2016 Estimated Costs: $10,900

Included in Program Costs:

  • Tuition (8 credits, $798/credit)
  • Housing
  • Daily Breakfast
  • Some Ground Transportation
  • Specialized Group Excursions
  • Admission to Cultural Sites
  • International Student Identity Card (ISIC)

Not Included in Program Costs:

  • Round Trip Airfare: (est. $1,200 - $1,500)
  • Passport (or Visa)
  • Meals and Incidentals
  • Round Trip Ferry from Athens to Patmos (est. $250)
  • International Health Insurance

As of 12/07/2015. Subject to Change.

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. FOR INFORMATION ON SUPPLEMENTAL HEALTH PLANS, PLEASE VISIT OUR HEALTH INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS PAGE.


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

Thursday May 26 Depart USA for Athens Greece
Friday May 27 - 28

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).

Saturday May 28 Arrive at Patmos at 3:15 AM. Students will be met by program leaders at the Patmos ferry port and taken to their hotel.
Sunday May 29 Settle into accommodations and orient yourself with your surroundings
Mandatory Orientation Program with Professor Jean Stawarz (details TBA)
Monday May 30 Screenwriting Lab begins at 9am
Thursday June 23 Depart Patmos and take 11:55 pm (23:55) ferry boat back to Pireaus (8 hour overnight trip). Arrives in Athens at 8 am. Times are approximate. Students taken to Athens hotel. Day spent visiting cultural and historical Athens sites.
Friday June 24 Students taken to Athens hotel. Day spent visiting cultural and historical Athens sites.
Sunday June 26 Students depart Athens.

As of 3/18/16. Subject to Change.