Greece: Screenwriters' Lab in Patmos

Program Dates

May 14–June 12, 2020

*Students should arrange to depart the US on May 13 to arrive in the Greece on the morning of May 14.

Program Overview

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. 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. Students will come to the program with a screenplay project and their own laptop with wireless capability. Writers will have a minimum of 5 hours day to write on their own.

Program Eligibility & Admission

  • Open to rising juniors and seniors.
  • Recommended for Visual & Media Arts and Writing, Literature, and Publishing students.
  • Limited to 20 students.
  • Application Period: November 1, 2019–February 1, 2020

Course Information

Total of 8 credits. Students will be required to be enrolled by Emerson College in the following two courses:

  • VM 420 - Topics in Media Arts Practice: Screenwriting in Patmos (4 credits)
  • VM 402 - Topics in Visual & Media Arts Studies: Patmos Screenwriting (4 credits)

Course Materials

Students must arrive with the following:

  • 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.

Academic Highlighits

  • The program format includes discussion, script analysis and notes, workshops, writing exercises, cold readings, and focused blocks of time set aside for writing.
  • The screenwriting lab will adopt a professional writing approach, incorporating an intensive syllabus, work strategies and strict deadlines.
  • Early mornings and late afternoons will allow students to have their pages work-shopped and make revisions based on notes received.

Cultural Highlights

  • Start the program with a one-night stay in Athens, visiting museums and the historic Acropolis.
  • Explore Patmos island’s wild beaches, remote tavernas, blue coves and rocky mountain pathways.
  • Visit the whitewashed old city of Chora and the welcoming harbor town of Skala.
  • Visit the thousand year-old St. John Theologian Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Enjoy a boating trip on the Aegean Sea.

Cost & Inclusions

Program Fee: $10,700

Included in Program Fee

  • Tuition (8 credits @ $800/credit)
  • Registration Fee
  • Housing
  • Some meals
  • Ground transportation
  • Round-trip ferry service from Athens to Patmos

Not Included in Program Fee

  • Round-trip airfare to/from Athens (Est. $1200–$1,500)
  • Most meals and incidental or personal expenses
  • Course materials
  • Passports (or visas, if required)
  • International Health Insurance*

*May be waived by those with alternate comparable insurance.

*Health Insurance Coverage: Participants must have an insurance plan that provides coverage while abroad. If you feel your current insurance is not adequate, please research a plan that is.

For information on Supplemental Health Plans, please visit our Health Insurance Requirements page.