Ayn Rand Essay Contests
The Ayn Rand Institute has hosted annual essay contests on Ayn Rand’s fiction since 1985, awarding over $2.2 million in total prizes to students worldwide. Enter one of the contests today for a chance to win up to $10,000!
Top Prize: $2,000
Open to all 8th—12th grade students worldwide
Top Prize: $5,000
Open to all 11th and 12th grade students worldwide
Top Prize: $10,000
Open to all 12th grade, college, and graduate students worldwide
“Ayn Rand’s novels lit a spark within me.”
Normally I would say that I really enjoyed this novel, but The Fountainhead isn’t like that. The word “enjoyed” just doesn’t fit how much it truly impacted me. It managed to shift my perspective on how society works in a way so powerfully that I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since.
Madison11th grade student at Oswego East High School (Illinois)
Anthem was one of those books that made me recalibrate my way of thinking. I read it during a pretty dark time of my life when I was starting to feel the burden of expectations. It definitely made me open my mind to the idea of living for myself, of aspiring to be free beyond the opinions of others. I loved it, and I hope to still incorporate the lessons I’ve learned there in my daily walk through life.
Joshua11th grade student at Philippine Science High School (Philippines)
The Fountainhead was absolutely fantastic. When I first received the book, I looked at it and thought it was really long; however, I was instantly hooked. Ayn Rand’s characters, philosophy, stories, and writing all captivated me. The discussions about this book in class were some of my favorite class moments. I often talk about the book with friends who have read it, and I recommend it to those who have not. I did not expect to become so interested in The Fountainhead, but I am proud to say that it is my new favorite book.
James11th grade student at Bayside High School (New York)
Atlas Shrugged is an amazing book. I read it, along with a few other books by Rand, many years ago in middle school. They were interesting, but not quite impactful, due to my age. When I recently started rereading her works this year, they greatly influenced my life. Not only is the artform excellent, but the ideas conveyed are extremely thought-provoking too. It has made me reevaluate my thought processes and has given me a “renaissance,” so to speak. I can’t imagine my life without the influence of Atlas Shrugged.
Austin12th grade student at Londonderry Senior High School (New Hampshire)
Reading The Fountainhead was such an eye-opening experience for me. I had encountered Ayn Rand’s ideas before in her book Anthem, but reading this book allowed me to better understand her opinions on the subjects of selfishness, idealism, and true heroism within society. I am incredibly grateful to this scholarship for introducing me to The Fountainhead and giving me the chance to see the world through a different lens.
Isabel12th grade student at Homeschool (Georgia)
I read Atlas Shrugged for the first time this summer, and I stumbled across the essay contest as I was looking for resources to help me analyze the book. It was the perfect reason for me to take the time to engage with the ideas in the book and think about questions that matter. I put more thought-work into my essay than most of the essays I have ever written, and the process was extremely satisfying. Thank you for organizing such a meaningful, growth-oriented experience for me.
AnonymousCollege student at Brigham Young University (Utah)
I read Anthem as a high school AP Literature student, and I remember being so struck by Rand’s succinct yet powerful style of storytelling. I’ve always been drawn to dystopian tales, and Rand’s message about the value of individuality in our society rang true to me. I would love the opportunity to read her last and much longer fictional work Atlas Shrugged, and continue to learn about her philosophical ideologies.
PrashilaGraduate student at UC Riverside (California)
I have read two of Ayn Rand’s books so far: The Fountainhead and Anthem. The first time I read The Fountainhead, my whole perspective on life changed. It completely transformed how I see the world. It made me question and challenge my goals and motivations in life. It inspired me to go after my dream relentlessly. Ayn Rand’s books are thought-provoking and push the reader to critically examine his or her life and the world in general. For these reasons, I am looking forward to read Atlas Shrugged.
KonjohiwotCollege undergraduate student at George Mason University (Virginia)
My teacher gave me a copy of The Fountainhead to read this year over winter break, and I ended up reading the whole book in three days! I thoroughly enjoyed Rand’s writing and found myself constantly reading things that were relatable to my daily life. I ended up going to my local bookstore and purchasing Atlas Shrugged, and I’m really enjoying that as well. I think that Rand brings a unique perspective to the table of how to live a meaningful life, and she certainly inspired me to work harder for the things that I hope to achieve.
Grace12th grade student at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School (Pennsylvania)
Participating Is Simple
Read an Ayn Rand novel
Select the book according to your level of education, and begin reading. Pay attention to the themes and character motivations, and be thinking about how you might answer the essay topic questions.
Write an essay on the book
As you start to write, be thinking about how to answer the essay question you have chosen to write on. Be sure to give yourself enough time to construct a coherent outline, find supporting evidence, and revise your draft a couple times.
Submit for grading
Submit your essay online using ARI’s application portal. Be sure to check that the information you provide in your application is correct, and that your essay satisfies our requirements.
Wait for the results
Grading for all submissions begins once the deadline has passed. Essays go through three separate grading stages, and the final results are announced approximately three to four months after the entry deadline.
For nearly four decades, the Ayn Rand Institute has hosted annual student essay contests on Ayn Rand’s novels. These contests encourage students to seriously engage with Rand’s ideas through reflection on her profound and influential novels. Students who participate will need to read the book they have selected carefully, grapple with its complex themes, and push the boundaries of their writing ability. By doing so, we hope students will achieve a deeper appreciation for Rand’s literary works and develop a curiosity for the philosophy that underlies them.
Our Grading Standards
Essays are judged on whether the student is able to justify and argue for his or her view—not on whether the Institute agrees with the view the student expresses. Our graders look for writing that is clear, articulate, and logically organized. Essays should stay on topic, address all parts of the selected prompt, and interrelate the ideas and events in the novel. Winning essays must demonstrate an outstanding grasp of the philosophic meaning of the novel.
Frequently Asked Questions
Students can now request free digital copies of all of Ayn Rand’s novels ataynrand.org/freebooks. All you have to do is say a few words about who you are and why you want to read the book, and we’ll send you a copy within one business day—no strings attached. If you would prefer to read a physical copy, you may purchase them via the links on our website. They are also likely available at your local bookstore or library.
You may enter if you are in alowergrade, but not if you are in ahighergrade. If you have any questions about your eligibility status, please email us email@example.com. (Note: All participants must be at least 13 years of age or older in order to participate. We make no exceptions to this rule.)
Please cite the page number(s) and place quotation marks around any material you choose to include from the novel you are writing on. You only need to include a bibliography if you choose to quote secondary source material.
No. You may submit one essay per contest, per year—provided you meet the grade-level requirements and are eligible to enter.
Yes! You are more than welcome to enter multiple contests, provided you do not exceed any of the grade-level restrictions.
Yes, as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements for the contest and were not previously a first-place winner. In fact, some students have won prizes two years in a row!
No. All awards are cash prizes. We place no restrictions on how the prize money is spent by recipients.
No, this will have no effect on your chances of winning. Judges look for writing that demonstrates a clear understanding of the novel, not whether the student agrees with it.
Have a different question?
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re typically able to respond within two to five business days.
Select a novel below to learn more about its contest and how you can enter.
Ayn Rand Essay ContestsThe Ayn Rand Institute has hosted annual essay contests on Ayn Rand’s fiction since 1985, awarding over $2.2 million in total prizes to students worldwide. Enter one of the contests today for a chance to win up to $10,000!AnthemTop Prize: $2,000Open to all 8th—12th grade stude...
I did not expect to become so interested in The Fountainhead , but I am proud to say that it is my new favorite book.. I read Atlas Shrugged for the first time this summer, and I stumbled across the essay contest as I was looking for resources to help me analyze the book.. I have read two of Ayn Rand’s books so far: The Fountainhead and Anthem .. The first time I read The Fountainhead, my whole perspective on life changed.. Ayn Rand’s books are thought-provoking and push the reader to critically examine his or her life and the world in general.. I ended up going to my local bookstore and purchasing Atlas Shrugged , and I’m really enjoying that as well.. I think that Rand brings a unique perspective to the table of how to live a meaningful life, and she certainly inspired me to work harder for the things that I hope to achieve.. Write an essay on the book. As you start to write, be thinking about how to answer the essay question you have chosen to write on.. Write to us at email@example.com.
Courses.aynrand.org| Owner: The Ayn Rand Institute. Alexa rank 236,876. IP: 22.214.171.124
Ayn Rand’s philosophy offers a much-needed antidote to the present culture.. Aynrand.org Ayn Rand University provides advanced courses in philosophy and communication from an Objectivist perspective.. Equality 7-2521 is a young man who yearns to understand “the Science of Things.”.. Payments to OCON or the Ayn Rand Institute eStore do not qualify as tax-deductible contributions to the Ayn Rand Institute.. Newideal.aynrand.org This 1967 lecture is Ayn Rand’s flagship talk on capitalism.. Referring to these lectures, Ayn Rand stated in print: "Dr. Peikoff's course is the only authorized presentation of the entire theoretical structu. Estore.aynrand.org Help the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) promote reason, rational self-interest, individualism and capitalism at a time when they’re needed most.. Your generous contribution will: Put free books in the hands of teachers and students across the country Fuel ARI’s annual essay contests on Ayn Rand’s best-selling novels Anthem, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged Fund the training …. In his lecture course “Ayn Rand’s Ethics: From The Fountainhead to Atlas Shrugged,” available at ARI’s eStore ...
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The ATLAS SHRUGGED Essay Contest by Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) is calling for applications from international students! Click to learn more.
Aspiring writers or students of all educational levels are encouraged to apply to the ATLAS SHRUGGED Essay Contest, a prestigious writing competition that awards up to $10,000 for the best piece.. Entering writing contests helps future writers hone their writing careers.. The competitions invite students of all levels to demonstrate their argumentative and writing skills.. Keep on reading to learn more about this writing competition.. ATLAS SHRUGGED Essay Contest is an annual writing competition by ARI.. The ATLAS SHRUGGED Essay Contest and other competitions by ARI have been going on for almost four decades.. Meanwhile, Ayn Rand was an American novelist and philosopher.. The ATLAS SHRUGGED Essay Contest awards cash prizes to the winners with entries that satisfy the judging criteria.. As well as helping you become a better writer and thinker, this is a great way to get extra money for college and other higher education.. To enter the ATLAS SHRUGGED Essay Contest, write an essay on Atlas Shrugged in 800 to 1600 words in English.. So, your essay must stay on topic, respond to every aspect of the chosen question, and connect the themes and plot points of the book.. All in all, winning essays must show a strong understanding of the novel’s philosophic themes.