Ayn Rand Institute Announces Winners of the 2016 Anthem and The Fountainhead Worldwide Essay Contests


IRVINE, Calif., Aug. 23, 2015—The Ayn Rand Institute, the leading center for the advancement of Objectivism, announced today that for the first time since the contests’ inception 31 years ago, both winning essays of the Ayn Rand Institute’s Anthem and The Fountainhead essay contests were submitted by students in foreign countries—Hong Kong and Ireland. The Anthem contest, geared toward high school freshmen and sophomores and based on Ayn Rand’s novelette Anthem, was won by Annette Nayeon Kim, 17, from Hong Kong. Ms. Kim has won a prize of $2,000.

This year’s winner of The Fountainhead contest, based on Ayn Rand’s best-selling novel, is Matthew Long, 18, from Dublin, Ireland. Mr. Long has won $10,000 in the contest designed for high school juniors and seniors.

Since its inception in 1985, more than 389,000 students worldwide have submitted entries to ARI’s essay contests. In addition to the top winners, four of the next 15 winners in each contest were from countries such as Thailand, Canada, San Salvador, South Korea, Japan, and Great Britain. In all, students from 50 countries submitted essays this year.

“It is extremely rewarding to see how students from across the world can identify with the universal themes presented in Rand’s novels,” says Dr. Yaron Brook, Executive Chairman of the Institute. “We congratulate Annette Nayeon Kim and Matthew Long on their extraordinary accomplishment.”

Each year ARI awards more than $90,000 in prizes to more than 500 students, and has given away more than 1.6 million dollars to contest winners during the past 31 years.

This year’s The Fountainhead essay winner Matthew Long, said: “What I like about the novel is that it is quite different from what I’ve read before. The philosophical aspect imbued in the story is something you don’t normally get in reading other fiction books.” And then he added advice on entering the contest: “I recommend that people have a go at it, not only for the prize but because taking the time to explore the themes in the novel can be rewarding in and of itself. It’s just good to learn different things and ideas and even challenge them at times.”

Anthem, published in 1938, depicts a collectivist dictatorship in a future in which the word “I” has vanished, and how a lone dissident discovers the lost word’s spiritual meaning.

First published in 1943, The Fountainhead tells the story of architect Howard Roark, who stands firmly against society’s conventions and triumphs because of his independence.

The Ayn Rand Institute has experts available for interviews. Please contact media@aynrand.org or call 703-678-4009, x203.

The Ayn Rand Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes the works and the philosophy of Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. For more information on Objectivism and on ARI’s high school and college programs, go to ARI’s website at AynRand.org.

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