The Ayn Rand Institute Awarding $93,250 in Essay Contest Cash Prizes – Now Accepting Student Essays

IRVINE, Calif.—The Ayn Rand Institute, the leading center for the advancement of Rand’s wrings and philosophy, today announced that it is currently accepting essays in its thirty-second year of essay contests for students. Contestants compete by answering questions on one of three topics from one of Ayn Rand’s novels:  Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead and Anthem. The contests are open to students around the world, and all submissions must be in English. Students in California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin are eligible for additional prize money. More than 500 prizes totaling $93,250 will be awarded in the three contests.

Program manager Matt Morgen, says: “We expect to have more than 20,000 essays submitted this year. Last year, two of the three winners were from outside the United States for the first time in the history of the contests.” 

The Atlas Shrugged essay contest is open to all twelfth graders, college or university students and graduate students. In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand’s masterpiece, the mysterious disappearance of the leading artists, intellectuals and businessmen is accelerating the collapse of the world’s culture and economy. The story grapples with the fundamental problems of human existence and presents radically new answers and Rand’s vision of man’s highest potential.  Cash prizes of $36,000 will be awarded to 84 students, including a top cash prize of $20,000. The deadline for entry is April 28, 2017.

The Fountainhead essay contest is open to all eleventh and twelfth graders. The Fountainhead is the story of an uncompromising young architect, Howard Roark, his violent battle against conventional standards, and his explosive love affair with a beautiful woman who struggles to defeat him. The story champions egoism and individualism. This year $43,250 will be awarded to 236 students with $10,000 as the top prize.  Deadline for The Fountainhead contest is April 26, 2017.

The Anthem essay contest is open to eighth, ninth and tenth graders. Anthem is the story of a young man who yearns for knowledge, but lives in a bleak, dystopian future where independent thought is abolished, science and technology have regressed to primitive levels and obedience to the group is so deeply ingrained that the very word “I” has been erased from the language. A total of $14,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to 236 students, including $2,000 for the winning essay. Deadline for the Anthem contest is March 29, 2017.

For more information or to interview a spokesperson, contact or call 703-678-4009, x 203.

About ARI
The Ayn Rand Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that promotes the works and philosophy of Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. The Institute fosters a growing awareness, understanding and acceptance of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism, in order to create a culture whose guiding principles are reason, rational self-interest, individualism and laissez-faire capitalism—a culture in which individuals are free to pursue their own happiness.