FAQs - Words First


  • How long will the workshops be?
    The workshops will take place over 5 days, 5 hours a day from 11am – 4pm (including a 45 minute break).
  • Who will be running the workshops?
    Each workshop will be taught by different tutors. There will be two tutors present at each workshop. Each tutor is experienced in performing and facilitating.
  • How much do the workshops cost?
    The workshops are completely free to attend! You just need to get yourself to the workshop location and feed and water yourself. In the main travel costs won’t be covered, however if you have a specific need we will review this on a case by case basis. Further questions? Get in touch
  • Where are the workshops taking place?
    The workshops will be taking place at the following six venues (you can only apply to one location when you apply):

    You don’t have to live in the city you apply to but priority will be given to those who live in the geographical area.


  • What if I’ve never performed in public before?
    Then we’d still love you to apply! The workshops are for spoken word artists from all levels, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been performing for years.
  • What do you define as spoken word?
    ‘Spoken word’ is a tricky one to define but you can check out BBC Radio 1xtra’s spoken word explained for more information. Ultimately, Words First is an open call for spoken word artists, rappers, MC’s, poets and performers – so if you create work in any of these forms, we want to hear from you.
  • What quality does my video need to be?
    As long as we can hear and see you, that’s enough for us! You can record it on your mobile phone, a webcam or whatever you like – as long as it’s a clear recording!
  • How do I make and upload a video of myself?
    As quality of video really isn’t important for your application, you don’t have to use professional equipment to make your recording – you could use the webcam on your laptop or on a computer at a local library, or use your the video feature on your phone or a camera (or ask a friend if you don’t have one yourself).
  • If you need extra help there are lots of guides and tutorials on ‘how to record a video of yourself’ available on the internet.
  • You can then upload your video to a video hosting site such as YouTube or Vimeo, before simply copying the shareable link to your video and pasting it into your application form.
  • Please note – when uploading and posting your video online, you may wish to make sure you select a setting that means it is not publicly avaliable for the whole internet to see! To do this, make sure you select the option that allows for anyone who has the link or the password to the video to view it, but does not allow your video to show up in searches on the site. On YouTube this is the unlisted option and on Vimeo it is the password option (but make sure you also include instructions to use the password with your video link when you apply if you pick this option).
  • Tip: Please check that you haven’t selected a privacy option that means that the shortlisting panel cannot view your video – we aren’t able to get in touch to let you know if you’ve done this by mistake. (Perhaps you can test your video link on a friend before you submit your application?)
  • What if my video is over 1 minute long?
    It’s fine to submit a video longer than 1 minute, but we will only watch the FIRST one minute.
  • Who will be shortlisting applications?
    You will be shortlisted by a member of the Roundhouse Performing Arts team, a team member at BBC Radio 1Xtra and the two tutors of the workshops taking place in the city you have chosen to apply to. They aren’t looking for polished performances, just artists who can show their passion, originality and personality.
  • How will you be contacting the successful entrants to the workshops?
    We’ll be in touch with each candidate by phone (either in w/c 14 September for entrants to Leeds, Manchester or London, or in the second half of September for entrants to Glasgow, Birmingham or Bristol) and if we don’t hear from you straight away we’ll send you an email so be sure to include these contact details in your application. You will only have 24 hours in which to get back to us – if we can’t get hold of you in this period, then we will offer it to another applicant so be sure to get back to us if we leave you a message! If you have not been successful we will contact you by 5 October 2015 to let you know but unfortunately we are not able to provide feedback on your entry.


  • What will happen to the recording I make of my work that I submit as part of the application process?
    Whilst you retain the copyright for your work, BBC and the Roundhouse will have a license to publish, broadcast and post your entry online or on any other platforms. See terms & conditions for more information. Entries cannot be returned so please remember to retain a copy.
  • What will happen to the recordings I make of my work during the workshops?
    During the workshops, you will have the opportunity to with radio makers from Roundhouse Radio and film producers to create audio and video recordings of your own material. Whilst you retain the copyright for your work, BBC and the Roundhouse will have a license to publish, broadcast and post your entry online or on any other platforms. See terms & conditions for more information. If you want to apply to be one of the final 6, then your recording(s) will be used in the shortlisting process. After this season of Words First finishes in July 2016, these recordings will be shared with you to use how you like.