Urban Word hosts free dynamic creative writing and performance centered programming for teens ages 13-19 across New York City’s five boroughs. Whether youth are looking for a place to grow as writers, to share their art, find community, and/or to compete for city-wide titles, there’s a program that can meet their needs!

Urban Word hosts various workshops that center on poetry, hip-hop, studio recording, college prep, and more for youth ages 13-19. Every season, we change our offerings to bring variety and respond to current themes. 

Slam School

Come through to take part in poetry writing workshops and learn techniques to improve your stage presence from some of Urban Word’s finest writers and performers. Whether you just want to step up your pen game or are preparing to compete in our NYC Teen Poetry Slam series in the spring, these workshops will provide you with the skills you need to truly shine. 

Every Thursday from January 19th – February 16th (5 Workshops)
4:30pm – 6:00pm

Andrew Heiskell Braille & Talking Book Library
40 W 20th St, New York, NY 10011

Must be between the ages of 13 to 19 to join. 
All are welcome regardless of skill level, experience, or desire to compete.

This is an uncensored FREE space for teen poets, spoken word artists, emcees, activists and scholars to share their powerful and important voice and message. 


First Draft kicks off in 2023 in a NEW LOCATION on January 24th!

Grae Wellness Space
89 5th Avenue Between E 16th & E 17th
Suite 802, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10003


To register, click the button below:

Black Girl Magic Fellowship

The BLACK GIRL MAGIC FELLOWSHIP Program is a series for NYC/NJ-based girls and non-binary youth ages 13-19 centered on their development as writers, building their self-esteem, and addressing issues that matter most to them. Curated by Mahogany L. Browne, Urban Word Artistic Director/ Poet/ Activist,  15 Fellowship winners will be invited and officially introduced at the annual Black Girl Magic Ball as this year's cohort. Throughout the 2022 year, BGM Fellows will participate in workshops, readings and other events to grow their craft, explore various writing careers (PR, speech writing, copyrighting, playwriting, etc.), college workshops, and opportunities for self-care. APPLICATIONS CLOSE ON FEBRUARY 26TH @ 11:59PM  

The New York City Youth Poet Laureate Program aims to identify young writers and leaders committed to creating change through civic engagement and poetic excellence. The NYC Youth Poet Laureate has the opportunity to apply to become the Regional and the National Youth Poet Laureate!

Youth Leadership Council

Each year, a group of 15 youth are selected to serve on the Urban Word Youth Leadership Council. Council members receive a monthly stipend & metrocard, have regular office hours; attend meetings with staff, school partners and funders; and facilitate workshops, open mics and slams. They also get first dibs on free events and great opportunities.  

The top 5 winners earn a spot on the Urban Word NYC Slam team, win a paid performance and publication opportunities, and represent NYC at the Regional Poetry Slam. 

The next Slam Season begins in February 2023.

Meet the 2022 Urban Word NYC Slam Team


Hai-Lin, Oluwatoyin, Stephanie, Tia, Jennifer