Unique to the Polish Arts Festival was the writing marathon delivered under the title Once Upon The Deadline in Translation. The event premiered in Southend in 2011, and in 2012 featured two events; Gdansk, Poland and Southend, UK.
The basic idea is that writers travel to a new city and have a day to write an original short story of approximately 1200 words. The stories are translated overnight and read aloud at a public ‘Read Off’.
UK based writers Hamid Ismailov, Phil Terry, Kerry Hudson, Christopher Shevlin and Peter Moore, travelled to Gdansk to the birthplace of solidarity, ship-building, and the printing press.
Polish writers Urszula Chowaniec, Daniel Odija, Przemek Gulda, Waldemar Bawołek and Adam Wiedemann, travelled to Southend-on-Sea to create their Southend inspired stories.
Both events were streamed live via the internet.
1. Günter Grass Gallery, Szeroka 34/35, Gdansk – Sunday 26 August 19:30
This event was timed to coincide with the closing days of an exhibition of paintings by Günter Grass.
2. Kursaal Gallery Space, Southchurch Avenue, Southend-on-Sea – Sunday 2 September 18:00
Project partners include: The Book Institute (Krakow), Once Upon A Deadline, Off_Press, British Council, Gdanska Galeria Miejska, Creative Writing Centre at the University of Essex, Arts Council England, Vision4Arts, and the Polish Cultural Institute (London).