Manchester’s Contact Theatre is calling out for new or emerging spoken word artists, rappers, MCs, poets and performers to apply to take part in upcoming free workshops with Words First, a national programme to develop writing, boost confidence and support career progression.

Words First is a partnership between BBC Radio 1Xtra and the Roundhouse, developed alongside BBC Arts. The project is also working with arts organisations across the UK – including Contact – to find some of the best aspiring artists across the country.

The Words First Programme is open to everyone aged 16 to 25, whatever their level of experience. Successful applicants will receive a session on writing and performance skills led by professional artists, opportunities to work with radio and film producers and an audio and video recording of their material to takeaway, produced by Roundhouse Radio.

The sessions at Contact are part of a series of regional workshops for Words First – Manchester, Leeds, London, Glasgow, Birmingham and Bristol – and performances with partners across the UK to seek out aspiring spoken word artists. 

Following the workshops six artists will be chosen to receive mentoring from leading writers and performers over the course of six months, artists will be featured on BBC Radio 1Xtra and across BBC platforms including BBC Arts and will also get to perform on the main space stage at the Roundhouse, London.

To apply for the Words First workshops at Contact, visit The deadline for the submission of applications is 5pm, Sunday 13 September 2015.

Words First is made possible by the support of Arts Council England.


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