BBC Radio 1Xtra, Asian Network and BBC Contains Strong Language are working with literature organisations including New Writing North to find the best emerging spoken word talent in the UK.

Whether you are influenced by poetry, lyricism, rap or hip hop – we want to hear from you!  We are looking for people with a real passion for spoken word in any form who are keen to develop their skills.

Writer Jude Yawson is our ambassador for Words First and will provide guidance and mentoring for the finalists.

Words First is a talent development scheme which will run throughout 2019. Chosen artists will be given the chance to attend regional workshops in May/June, where they will work with established artists to develop their work and be given a platform to perform their own work at regional showcases.

In Newcastle, selected artists will be invited to Alphabetti Theatre on 4 and 11 June 2019 to work with acclaimed poet, writer and spoken word artist, Malika Booker.

There will then be a further selection process and those artists will be invited to a further performance showcase in Manchester in July and the finale of the scheme will be broadcast on BBC Radio 1Xtra from the Contains Strong Language Festival on 27 September 2019.

Throughout the year, talent will be mentored and supported by a fantastic network through regional poetry and literature organisations and the BBC.

Apply now

This scheme is open to 18-30 year olds. Applications are open Friday 26 April – Friday 10 May. For more information about how to enter and full terms and conditions please visit Words First.