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!

This is an uncensored space for teen poets, spoken word artists, emcees, activists and scholars to share their powerful and important voice and message. These events are hosted by the Youth Leadership Council and are run for teens by teens. 


Hosted at the ANDREW HASKELL LIBRARY (40 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011).

This Fall, First Draft kicks off on September 20th!


To register, click the button below:

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. 

Creatively College Bound (CCB)

Every other Tuesday from Tuesday, October 4th – December 13th
(October 4 & 18; November 1, 15, & 29; December 13)

Brooklyn Heights Library
286 Cadman Plaza W, Downtown Brooklyn, NY
Trains: 2, 3, 4, 5 to Borough Hall,  R to Court Street, or A, C to High Street

Getting ready to apply for college? Urban Word’s Creatively College Bound program serves New York City high school juniors and seniors on their path to college, and provides support during the college application process, including creative approaches to the entrance essay.

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.  

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 REOPEN IN JANUARY 2023  

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