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Youth 'Summer Slam'

Spoken Word, Poetry, and Writing Contest

FFLIC is committed to uplifting the voices of youth in advancing narrative change and transforming the youth justice system into a holistic model of care. As part of our work, we are inviting our young people to express their thoughts and ideas in creative form about the school-to-prison pipeline and youth justice system. We will use spoken word, poetry, and other forms of writing as part of our advocacy efforts to end youth incarceration while offering the youth the chance to win a $500 prize ($200 for runner ups).
For this year’s ‘Youth Summer Slam'' we are partnering with local authors!

New York Times bestselling author Jami Attenberg and the #1000wordsofsummer community is sponsoring the contest and we launched the Slam alongside the #1000wordsofsummer initiative. Additionally, local authors will judge the contest. Registration is open and the deadline to submit writing has been extended to September 21st - the last official day of summer!


Below are three themes and questions to reflect on. You do not have to try to answer these questions directly. They are meant only to inspire and ignite your thoughts and creativity:

  1. #LetKidsBeKids Take a look at FFLIC’s 3-point platform to call for state leaders to provide a better quality education and mental health supports, and address poverty. What is your vision of what kids need? How should we spend money on them? What would it be like if your school had more social workers, counselors, and family supports instead of cops? What does it mean to you to #LetKidsBeKids?
  2. #NoMorePrisons – What is your vision of a world without youth prisons? Check out the “The Future We Dream Of” which is part of the #NoKidsInPrison digital experience to become inspired to write about your own vision of a world with #NoMorePrisons. (Go to to the menu and select “The Future We Dream Of”)
  3. #StandInLove – In many communities across the state, youth, especially Black and brown youth, are being portrayed as dangerous criminals and there is a push to treat them like adults when they get into trouble. How do we change the way we view youth? How do we create life-affirming systems that make youth feel loved and supported? Is there anything that you would want to say to a young person who is incarcerated to #StandInLove with them?


You can submit your work to FFLIC for a chance to win a prize if you:

  •  Are between the ages of 10 and 24
  •  Are a Louisiana resident
  •  Complete the registration


Before you complete this form, be sure to click the button below to read the details and guidelines.

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How to Participate/Guidelines for All Submissions

  • Register to participate. You will be asked to include your full name, age, and contact information, such as phone and email, and other information.
  • Each youth can submit only once.
  • FFLIC is a diverse and inclusive community. We expressly invite submissions from Louisiana’s Black, Indigenous, and youth of color. We believe in centering the experiences of Louisiana’s most vulnerable youth, including Black youth at its intersections—Indigenous Black youth, Afro-Latine youth, LGBTQ youth, womxn, disabled youth, and incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth.
  • Send your submission. ALL SUBMISSIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY 12:00 A.M., SEPTEMBER 21, 2022. Email your submissions to

Additional Specific Guidelines

  • Writing should be no more than 800 words. The submissions can be typed or handwritten and delivered or sent electronically.
  • Spoken Word Performances must be on a high-resolution video with good sound quality and be no longer than four minutes. A link to the video is preferred, but video files can also be emailed.

Judging and Prizes

We will select judges from the Louisiana Arts community to judge writing in three age categories: 10-14, 15-19, and 20-24. One winner from each age category will receive $500 and a FFLIC gift bag. A runner up will receive $200 and a FFLIC gift bag in each category.

How FFLIC Plans to Use the Art and Writing

We are truly grateful for the artistic expressions of our youth and will do our best to ensure that youth receive credit for your work. We will use the submissions as part of our advocacy efforts to end the school-to-prison pipeline and transform the youth justice system. If we plan to use the writing we will try to  send the participant the information about how it is being used.

Other important information

By submitting your work you (and/or when applicable, your parent/guardian) grant FFLIC the right to edit, use, and reuse the materials; agree that such use shall be without payment of fees, royalties, special credit or other compensation; and release FFLIC of all claims, demands, and liabilities whatsoever in connection with the use of the materials.