2016 Ayn Rand Institute Essay Contest for Students on Ayn Rand’s Fiction ($USD90,000 in Prizes)

Submission Deadline:

Anthem: March 25, 2016

The Fountainhead: April 29, 2016

Atlas Shrugged: October 23rd, 2015

Have you read one of Ayn Rand’s thought-provoking novels? Now’s the time! Enter an Ayn Rand Institute essay contest for your chance to win thousands of dollars in cash prizes.

The Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) has held worldwide essay contests for students on Ayn Rand’s fiction for thirty years. This year ARI will award over 500 prizes totaling more than $90,000.



  • Eligibility

    8th, 9th and 10th GRADERS

    Entry Deadline: March 25, 2016

    • 1st place : $2,000 1 Winner
    • 2nd place : $500 5 Winners
    • 3rd place : $200 10 Winners
    • Finalists : $50 45 Winners
    • Semifinalists : $30 175 Winners
    • Select ONE of the following three topics:
      • “It is a sin to write this.” So begins Anthem. What is the significance of this opening line to the story and to the meaning of the novel? What view of morality does it embody? What is Equality 7-2521’s eventual assessment of his sin and why? Explain.
      • Politically, Anthem depicts a collectivist society. What ideas do the rulers appeal to in order to justify their collectivist society? How do its rulers retain their power? What enables Equality 7-2521 to escape his society and envision an alternative?
      • Anthem portrays a totalitarian world of the future. In contrast to other such portrayals, the world of Anthem is technologically primitive. What does this imply about the nature of science and technology and the conditions for technological progress, and how do events of the story establish that view?
  • Submit Your Essay Now for the ARI Anthem Essay Contest

The Fountainhead Theme


  • Eligibility : 11th and 12th GRADERS

    Entry Deadline: April 29, 2016

  • Prizes

    1st place $10,000 1 Winner
    2nd place $2,000 5 Winners
  • 3rd place $1,000 10 Winners
  • Finalists $100 45 Winners
  • Semifinalists $50 175 Winners

Fountainhead Theme:

  • Select ONE of the following three topics:

    • Why does Roark say that his refusal of the Manhattan Bank Building contract is “the most selfish thing you’ve ever seen a man do”?
    • Ellsworth Toohey and Gail Wynand both spend much of their lives consciously seeking power over others. But is their quest for power the same? How do each man’s goals and motivations contrast to those of Roark?
    • The conventional view is that in life one can either achieve practical success or be moral, but not both. What view of the relation between the moral and the practical is conveyed in The Fountainhead? What is the novel’s conception of success? Of morality? Explain by reference to characters and events in the story.
  • Submit your Application Now for the ARI Fountainhead Essay Contest


  • Atlas Shrugged Theme

  • Eligibility : 12th Graders, College Undergraduates, and Graduate Students

    Entry Deadline: October 23rd, 2015

  • Prizes

  • 1st place $20,000 1 Winner

  • 2nd place $2,000 3 Winners

  • 3rd place $1,000 5 Winners

  • Finalists $100 25 Winners

  • Semifinalists $50 50 Winners

  • Topics

  • Select ONE of the following three topics:

    • At his trial, Hank Rearden declares: “The public good be damned, I will have no part of it!” What does he mean? How does this issue relate to the novel’s theme?
    • Who is John Galt?
    • What is the meaning of money to Francisco d’Anconia? To James Taggart? How do these characters’ views on money relate to the events of the story?
  • Submit Your Essay for the ARI Fountainhead Essay Contest


For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Ayn Rand Institute Essay Contest







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