Each year Nostos Screenwriting Retreat offers 1 scholarship for each of the three week intensive screenwriting workshops taking place on the gorgeous island of Elba and the Tuscan Countryside.

The next workshop will happen in Tuscany in September 2019.

The screenwriting workshop will take the participants through the process of creating the script for a feature film, from putting together an outline and beat sheet and, finally, turning the structural outline into scenes.

It is designed for beginners as well as seasoned screenwriters, who need a place to focus and get feedback on their ideas.

By the end of the workshop, participants will have a detailed outline of their feature and most, if not all, of a first act.

The Screenwriting Lab is based on a combination of individual writing phases, personal talks and coachings. The unique surroundings and the landscape of Tuscany provide an ideal setting to encourage the creative writing process.

Here are the Biographies of the team of instructors and facilitators running the retreat:

Rudy Thauberger wrote the screenplays for the feature films The Rhino Brothers and Chicago Heights (with Daniel Nearing), as well as the short film Goalie (based on his short story). He has also written teleplays for the SyFy network movies-of-the week Snowmaggedon and The 12 Disasters of Christmas.

He is a past winner of the BC Literary Rites short story competition, a finalist in the Canadian National Playwriting Contest, a two-time winner of the Monday Magazine short story contest and has been shortlisted four times in the annual 3-Day Novel Contest. He is the co-creater and writer of the web series Coma State (currently in development) and has worked as a story editor on several films and comic books, most recently the feature film Hogtown. His short story Goalie has been anthologized over twenty times.
Currently, he's working on several film, television and comic book projects, including the upcoming webs series 60 Second Screams.

He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and works as an instructor at the Vancouver Film School.

David Pope is a screenwriter and script consultant working internationally.
David is the annual consultant / moderator for the Rotterdam Lab at CineMart and co-founder of Stowe Story Labs.

David has worked as script consultant on single projects and slates in US, Europe, Middle East. North Africa and Asia including work with Academy Award and BAFTA nominated producers and screenwriters, national film funds and regional agencies.

David recently completed a commission writing the latest draft of the European co-production TEMPELHOF and has recently been commissioned to write the international co-production RULIN. David is the director of advance films with whom he has slate of projects. Currently in development is feature film THE BELONGING and television drama RECONSTRUCTION.

Previous script development and training clients include:
BFI, UK Film Council, BBC, BAFTA, National Theatre, British Council, Creative Europe, Cannes Cinefondation, Royal Film Commission – Jordan, Rawi Screenwriting Lab, Warp Films, Allfilm, Wajda School, Edinburgh International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Polish Film Institute, Media Business School, Cannes Film Festival, Film London, Lionhead Studios, Xingu Films, Irish Film Board, FAS Screen Training Ireland, Filmbase, MEDIA, Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, New Horizons Studio, Estonian Film Institute, Arts Council Malta, London Film Academy and London University amongst many others.

Nora Jaenicke is an award-winning filmmaker currently residing between Cambridge and New York City.

She grew up in Italy with German parents and studied Film at the European Institute of Design in Rome and Screenwriting at Vancouver Film School. Later on she was able to deepen her studies in Psychology and Creative Writing at Harvard University while on a full scholarship.

She has worked in Cologne, Germany for the Documentary Film Production Company Taglichtmedia and as a Set Designer in Los Angeles, before starting to write and direct her own films. Among other films she has worked as a Set Designer on Chronenberg's Film "A Dangerous Method". Her feature length screenplay Whales was selected to be a part of the Kitzbuehl Writing Residency in August 2017.

Her most recent film Between Seconds has won 33 Awards all over the world.

The short film version of her feature length screenplay Whales is currently on its festival circuit and has already won ten awards at festivals around the world.

Nora is currently in post-production of one more short film Joyce, also a short film version of a feature that she is hoping to make: A mosaic of interrelated stories that explore the American Dream and the plight of immigrants in New York City.

She is an avid traveler, continuing to explore the world and telling stories about it, whenever she gets a chance.

We are awarding a full scholarship every year for each one of our retreats.

Send the treatment of your feature script or a first draft of your current screenplay, a log line and biography to win this exclusive three week writing retreat on the Elba Island.

We judge each script and treatment with a point system in different categories.

These categories include: premise-concept, presentation, structure, plot, pacing, dialogue, characters, theme and style for the screenplays.

For treatments we judge the premise-concept, presentation and originality of the story.

We look forward to reading your work!

Overall Rating
  • Lara Mrkoci

    My time on Elba working on my feature screenplay was priceless. I came there with only an outline and left with 72 pages of my feature. In the first week I met one-on-one with Rudy to go over my beat sheet. He's the perfect instructor for a writing retreat because he focusses on helping you tell the best version of the story YOU want to tell--he doesn't impose his own taste and he is passionate about storytelling in all forms. He helped me work through my story so that by the time I sat down to write the screenplay, it just flowed. While at this retreat I noticed my approach to my writing shifting, for the better, and I feel that I left with a deeper understanding of my craft.

    I'm so grateful to Nora for bringing together a group of writers that were supportive and generous with their ideas. We would discuss story over breakfast, and do cold reads with wine in the evening. The opportunity to focus on writing for three solid weeks is a gift that any writer should give themselves. And if you want to make that gift truly memorable, take yourself to Elba. It is an enchanting island and my experience there has sparked new friendships and more than a few new story ideas!

    December 2018
  • Kaylee Kilkenny

    Thanks to Nostos I was able to FINALLY able take a second to breathe. The energy of the entire Nostos family helped me take those breaths and use them to propel me towards a healthier path in my writing journey. Being able to share space (both mental and physical) with several wonderful writers for three weeks led to me gaining a better understanding of my identity as a writer. Big big thanks to Nora and Rudy for all their help on this journey!

    November 2018
  • Faye Yuan

    This retreat far exceeded my expectations of what writing in Tuscany could be. The perfect combination of group workshop, live readings, one-on-one mentoring, and silent writing to help overcome writer's block, kill the necessary darlings, and achieve timely breakthroughs. Nora is an excellent leader and Rudy the most trustworthy facilitator. Upon returning from the retreat, my producer has already marveled on more than one occasion, "Is this what the Tuscan sun does to you?" I would not trade this group for anything!

    October 2018
  • Devi Snively

    As I told my new wonderful Nostos family at our final wonderful meal together, I have always dreamed of having been a writer in 1920s Paris, engaging with other artists in food, drink, discussion and creativity in a magical venue. Now I realize that dream can come true in modern day Tuscany. These 3 weeks were beyond any wondrous fantasy my imagination could possibly conjure. I hardly know where to begin -- our amazing hosts, mentors and peers, the positively orgasmic meals, the gorgeous estate set amidst groves of olive and fruit trees, the beautiful accommodations -- and all of that is mere icing on the cake. The mentorship and support from everybody helped me complete the most polished first draft of a screenplay I've ever written (I arrived with but a beat sheet, so not bad for 3 weeks.) I was very blessed to win the scholarship this year, but you can bet I'm going to save every penny I earn so I can to come back again. This is a writer's dream come true.

    October 2018