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2023 Campaign Writing Contest


The theme of the Campaign Contest is ‘Social Advocacy.’ In other words, what is important to you? What do you believe in? If you could change one thing in this world, what would it be? We encourage you to share your personal stories and how your interactions with social issues have shaped the way you view the world. Tell us about how these experiences have changed the way you live your life and navigate society as a whole.


Writers are encouraged to explore topics like ethnicity, social change, identity, mental health, feminism, etc. The purpose of our contest is to encourage in-depth reflection and allow teens to take the space to focus on the topics and issues that are important to them. Maybe you want to dissect your cultural background. Maybe you want to highlight the importance of climate awareness. Maybe you want to open up about your struggles with mental health. Our application criteria is not rooted in adherence to the theme. Please do not feel pressured or obligated to share sensitive personal experiences; we acknowledge that creativity does not have to be, but can be, rooted in trauma. Instead, view this as an opportunity to re-examine and reflect on who you are and what you believe in. 


All young writers who submit to our contest will have the option to be published in our end of contest series. Simply check off the option when you submit your piece through the google form. Ice Lolly Review’s mission has always been to highlight diverse voices and promote youth writing and we want this project to reflect that. Publication in the series is optional. 

Previous Campaign Contest winners can be found here. 


Poetry Winners 

1st - Flag Poem by Ivi Hua

2nd - Autobiography with White Noise by Ava Chen

3rd - otros universos by Genesis Vasquez​



  1. cultural limbo by David Chen 

  2. Under the Glass Sky by Ava Chen

  3. cultural limbo by Yiya Hu

  4. grains by Andrei Joshua Malate 

  5. how winged tigers elude me (again) by Hannah Choi 

  6. Ma, A Penny For Your Thoughts by May Chen 

  7. rust in rooms never fade by Cailey Tin


Fiction Winners

1st - Sacha by Emma Pemmann

2nd - What Neither of Us Can See by Lana Nguyen

3rd - Melody Without Shame by Alina Wang

Fiction Finalists

  1. The Cult of the California Girl by Ramona McNish

  2. What Neither of Us Can See by Lana Nguyen

  3. Skipping Stones by Irene Biju

  4. a guide to emotional conversations at the back of a bookstore by Audrey Han

  5. The Longing for Another's Culture by Noorul Nuhaa

  6. The Gift by Cameron Elizabeth

  7. Wild Girl by April Yu

  8. Fated Revenge by Andy Ramzy


Creative-Nonfiction Winners

1st - Another Narrative by Bella Majam

2nd - Body of the Water by Ashley Wectawski

3rd - Scavenge by Valerie Naiah Ultiano


  1. Stations Along the Road by Ziyun Peng 

  2. Sophia Yang

  3. Daria Chorna

  4. To Kill With The Purest Intentions by Sayah Udumalagala

  5. Mija by Leo Gaudes Burnett

  6. A Conversation about a Last Name by Rena Abdusalam

  7. The Burning Ones by Chelsea Dong

If you are a winner and have not yet received an email from us please reach out to us at


1st Place - $150

2nd Place -  $100

3rd Place - $75



1st Place - $150

2nd Place -  $100

3rd Place - $75



1st Place - $150

2nd Place -  $100

3rd Place - $75


Payment Distribution: Zelle, Venmo, Paypal 



Submission Guidelines


- Creative Nonfiction (Memoir, Personal Essay) - 5,000 word limit. 

- Fiction - 5,000 word limit. 

- Poetry - 100 line limit. 


Submissions must be in Times New Roman, font 12, and 1.15 spacing (we will make an exception to this rule if your piece is formatted unconventionally). Please do not include any identifying information such as your first and last name in your submission’s document. This will make the judging process a lot easier and preserve anonymity. 

This contest is only open to writers between the ages of 12-18. 


Previously published submissions and simultaneous submissions are allowed. However, we kindly ask that you refrain from submitting work that has won previous writing contests. You can submit as many pieces as you like but please only submit one piece per google form. This helps the team keep track of submissions. Multilingual submissions are allowed, but we request that you include an English translation. All submissions are considered for publication in our magazine and will be judged anonymously. 


BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and writers from marginalized communities are strongly encouraged to participate. 


To submit please fill out this google form. 


Deadline for all submissions: July 15th, 2023 



Stephanie Niu is the author of Survived By, winner of the 2023 Host Publications Chapbook Prize, and She Has Dreamt Again of Water, winner of the 2021 Diode Chapbook Contest. Her poems have appeared in Copper Nickel, Waxwing, Ecotone, The Georgia Review, and elsewhere. She is currently completing a Fulbright scholarship on immigration and labor history on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean.

Stephanie Niu - Poetry Judge

Angie Sijun Lou - Fiction Judge

Angie Sijun Lou is the daughter of Chinese immigrants. Her writing has appeared in ZYZZYVA, BOMB, American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, Best Small Fictions, and elsewhere. With Karen Tei Yamashita, she is the co-editor of the essay collection Dark Soil: Fictions and Mythographies (Coffee House Press, 2024). She is a Fiction Editor at FENCE and a Ph.D. Candidate in Creative Writing at UC Santa Cruz. She has received fellowships from Kundiman, Bread Loaf, Tin House, Millay Arts, Ragdale, Oxbelly, and elsewhere. 

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Melnick 3 author photo (photo credit Ada Donnelly.jpg

Lynn Melnick - Creative-Nonfiction Judge

Lynn Melnick is the author of the memoir, I've Had to Think Up a Way to Survive: On Trauma, Persistence, and Dolly Parton, out in paperback in August 2023. She is also the author of three poetry collections, Refusenik, which was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, Landscape with Sex and Violence, and If I Should Say I Have Hope. She teaches at Columbia University and Princeton University, and lives in Brooklyn.

Here are some writers we admire and hope their words bring you inspiration: 


“Living everyday in the presence of those who refuse to acknowledge your humanity takes great courage.” - Min Jin Lee


“I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me.”- Maya Angelou


“Nothing erases the past. There is repentance, there is atonement, and there is forgiveness. That is all, but that is enough.” - Ted Chiang


“All struggles are essentially power struggles. Who will rule? Who will lead? Who will define, refine, confine, design? Who will dominate? All struggles are essentially power struggles, and most are no more intellectual than two rams knocking their heads together.” - Octavia E. Butler


“There has to be a word for the kind of loneliness shared by two, a loneliness big enough to rechristen itself as lineage.” - Topaz Winters


“Writing is an inherently lonely activity. It requires you to be still and present and porous to whatever it is you want to say."- Aria Aber


“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.” 

- Walt Whitman


“Poetry is the lens we use to interrogate the history we stand on and the future we stand for.”

-  Amanda Gorman


“Because freedom, I am told, is nothing but the distance between the hunter and its prey.” 

- Ocean Vuong 


“My mother always says that the story you believe depends on the body you're in. What you believe will depend on the color of your hair, your word for god, how many times you've been born, your zip code, whether you have health insurance, what your first language is, and how many snakes you have known personally.” - K-Ming Chang



May 20 -  July 15: Contest submissions accepted 


July 15 - July 31: First round submission judging. 


August 1: Finalists released and sent to final round judges. 


August 1 - August 15: Final round submission judging 


August 15: Decisions released.

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