Words First is a talent development scheme that will run throughout 2021. Selected artists will be given the chance to attend digital workshops in July and August 2021, where they will work with established artists and mentors to develop their work, and be given a platform to perform their own work at digital showcases.
Lady Leshurr, the British rapper, singer, songwriter, 1Xtra DJ, and producer, has been appointed as an ambassador for Words First 2021. She will provide guidance and mentoring for the finalists throughout the scheme.
Among others, British poet Malika Booker and Words First alumni Isaiah Hull will be working with the 12 selected artists in talent masterclasses.
There will be a Summer showcase performance at the Contains Strong Language Festival 2021 in Coventry, where shortlisted artists from the digital workshops will be invited to perform. The finale of the scheme will be broadcast on BBC Radio 1Xtra at the end of the year.
Additionally, throughout the scheme selected artists will be mentored and supported by the BBC and a fantastic network of regional poetry organisations including Young Identity, Apples & Snakes, Neu! Reekie!, New Writing North, and Nine Arches Press.
To take part this time, simply upload a short performance video. Entries open on 14 May 2021, and videos should be no more than 1 minute long. As this is a spoken word talent search, videos with a backing track or other music will not be accepted, so please perform on silence. Your video application must be submitted before entries close at 23:59, 11 June 2021.
Follow the link below to the entry form and Terms and Conditions, but please read the FAQs before you enter.