Main content

Words First: Terms and Conditions

These terms and conditions are subject to review and update. Please check back regularly for updates.

  • Entry to the Words First talent development scheme (the “Scheme”) is open to people aged 18 - 30 years, who are full time residents of the UK (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man), and have the right to work in the United Kingdom, except employees of the BBC (or any BBC Group company), their close relatives or any person closely connected to the Scheme. Proof of age, identity and eligibility may be requested.

  • Applicants will be asked to provide their name; date of birth, contact number, email, address, and assistance requirements. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.

  • At the time of application, applicants must not have, or be in the process of, signing a book deal with an established publishing house (self-publishing work and undertaking professional gig bookings are acceptable).

  • The application process will open on Monday 14th February 2022 and the deadline for entries is 23:59 on Monday 7th March 2022. Applications outside this timeframe will not be considered, so please do not wait until the last minute to upload your video entry.

  • Applicants can only enter the Scheme individually. Entries must be made by providing a video (audio-visual) recording of your spoken word work. Only 1 video entry per person is permitted. If more than one video is submitted, only the participant’s first submission will be considered. All applications must be submitted primarily in English. Applications that feature a backing track or other music will not be accepted.

  • Video entries should be no longer than 1 minute. Where a video over 1 minute is submitted, the application may still be accepted however, the judging panel will only consider the first minute of the video entry.

  • Video entries cannot be returned, so please remember to retain a copy. Due to the volume of entries, unsuccessful applicants may not be contacted.

  • All video entries, performances and other contributions from participants (in workshops, tasks or otherwise) must be the original work of the participant and must not infringe the intellectual property rights of any other party. The BBC accepts no responsibility where participants fail to comply with these Terms and Conditions.

  • By entering the Scheme, each participant agrees to fully indemnify the BBC for any and all resulting liabilities related to any breach by a participant of these Terms and Conditions.

  • Whilst participants will retain the copyright in their video entries and contributions they make as part of the Scheme, please note that by entering the Scheme each participant grants to the BBC, a perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty free license across all media, in all territories - to publish, broadcast and post the entries and or any contributions from the participants (which includes online, and on any other platforms yet to be envisaged). The said grant of license also includes all necessary rights and permissions to enable the BBC to fulfil and complete the administration and promotion of the Scheme.

  • By submitting a video entry, each participant agrees that the BBC may in its sole discretion, edit, adapt, abridge or translate the video and or any contribution from participants, as part of the Scheme, to fulfil the intended purpose of the Scheme (as set out above).

  • Following the online applications (video submissions), applicants will be considered based on a) the originality of the writing (spoken word) and its performance, and b) the applicant's overall passion and potential.

  • Thereafter, approximately thirty two (32) participants will be selected to join a series of digital sessions. Selected Participants will be invited to attend digital workshops and participants from the workshops will be considered by the BBC and partners (at the BBC and partner’s discretion) in accordance with the criteria set out in these Terms and Conditions.

  • The BBC reserves the right to exclude any participant, video, performance, etc. that breaches (or is reasonably believed by the BBC to be in breach) any law or regulation, any of these Terms and Conditions, or where the participant or any contribution may in any way, bring the BBC into disrepute.

  • For the avoidance of any doubt, there is no obligation on the BBC to ensure that workshops or any aspect of the Scheme take place, and the BBC reserves the right to amend these Terms and Conditions and or cancel the Scheme (or any part of the Scheme) at any stage, if deemed appropriate or necessary by the BBC, or where circumstances arise, outside of the BBC’s control.

  • To the extent permitted by law, the BBC excludes liability for any loss and or damage (whether such damage or any losses were foreseen, foreseeable, known or otherwise) including financial, reputational loss or disappointment.

  • The BBC, its sub-contractors, subsidiaries, agencies and or any other organisations associated with the Scheme, do not accept any liability whatsoever for any technical failure, malfunction or any other problems with any server, internet access, electronic or mechanical system issues or otherwise, which may result in any participant contribution (video files or otherwise) being lost, not properly registered or recorded.

  • These Terms and Conditions are governed exclusively by the laws of England and Wales and for the avoidance of any doubt, the English courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction.


  • Your trust is very important to us. This means the BBC is committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information.

  • It is important that you read this notice so that you are aware of how and why we are using such information. This privacy notice describes how we collect and use personal information about you during and after your relationship with us, in accordance with data protection law.

  • You can find additional information here. Find out more about information and privacy.

  • What will we collect and how will we use it?

  • The BBC and BBC’s Words First partner organisations will collect and process the personal information that you have provided to us about yourself. This personal information is your name, age and contact number as well as any other information you provide in the application form. This information may include special category data where you choose to provide this.

  • Special categories of information may include race, ethnicity or other sensitive personal data.

  • If you choose to provide any special category data about yourself, please carefully consider if you wish to disclose such information.

  • The personal information and special categories of information that you provide will be processed securely for the purpose of assessing participants for the Scheme. The information will be considered by a panel of Words First Partners and the BBC. We will also use your information to contact you about the progress of your participation in the Scheme.

  • The BBC is the ‘data controller’ of this information. This means that the BBC decides what your personal information is used for, and the ways in which it is processed.

  • The BBC’s lawful basis for processing your data is legitimate interests. We have a legitimate interest in processing this data as our public purpose is to provide content for a cross-section of the UK Public and this Scheme is concerned with providing such content.

  • The legal basis on which the BBC processes special categories of information or information about criminal offences you have provided will be on the basis of the substantial public interest in the BBC producing journalistic content in connection with its Charter obligations.

    Sharing your information

  • Other than sharing your information with Scheme partners; Apples & Snakes, Young Identity, Neu! Reekie!, New Writing North and Nine Arches Press, to the extent that it is reasonably required to further the objectives of the Scheme, we will not share the information you have provided with other parties.

    Retaining your information

  • If you are not selected, the BBC will delete your data after a period of two months after the closing date. We will retain the personal information of shortlisted candidates for a period of three months after the closing date. Selected participants' personal information will be stored for a period of two years for regulatory purposes. The names of the selected participants will be made public. The selected participants may be required to do post award publicity and all promotion will be discussed post award, with selected participants, prior to announcement.

    Your rights and more information

  • If you have any questions about how the BBC handles your personal information, or you wish to find out about your rights, please visit the BBC’s Privacy and Cookies Policy. You will also be able to find out more information about how the BBC processes your information and how you can contact the BBC’s Data Protection Officer.

  • If you raise a concern with the BBC about the way it has handled your personal information and you are dissatisfied with the BBC’s response, you are entitled to lodge a concern with a supervisory authority. In the UK, the supervisory authority is the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Words First