Ayn Rand Anthem Essay Contest

Nearly a decade ago, I stumbled across the Atlas Shrugged Scholarship. I had never heard of the author, Ayn Rand, but I needed money for college and this essay contest offered a $10,000 top prize, so I headed to my local library to grab a copy. When I finally located it on a shelf, I could not believe the size of the work – 1075 pages. Whoa! The scholarship deadline was in three weeks, and I seriously doubted my ability to absorb so much material in so little time. Fortunately, the characters in the novel were so compelling that I found it hard to put away and finished it in a matter of days. Although I did not win the scholarship, the novel’s underlying themes stayed with me, challenging what I believed to be essential truths about being human and how one should treat others. Ayn Rand was the creator of Objectivism, a philosophy she described as, ‘…the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.’ Most of her work introduces you to the tenets of this philosophy, but even if you disagree with many of its points, her novels do make you think about your role in the world. Although Rand died in 1982, the Ayn Rand Institute continues to open minds, and doors, for students through its many scholarship programs. Each year, over 600 students receive awards to help further their academic studies, with prizes ranging from $25 to $10,000. Here is a short overview of each program and who is eligible to participate.  

The Fountainhead Essay Contest

Who: High school juniors and seniors Number of Awards: 236 Value: $50 to $10,000 Deadline: April 26

We the Living Essay Contest

Who: High school sophomores, juniors and seniors Number of Awards: 116 Value: $25 to $3,000 Deadline: May 6

Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest

Who: High school seniors, undergraduates and graduate students Number of Awards: 84 Value: $50 to $10,000 Deadline: September 17

Anthem Essay Contest

Who: 8th, 9th and 10th grade students Number of Awards: 236 Value: $30 to $2,000 Deadline: March 2014 (TBA)

In 1999, HBO® produced a movie, The Passion of Ayn Rand, with Helen Mirren and Eric Stoltz, and Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged, is currently being filmed (part III). Those who would like to know more about Rand and her philosophy should visit the Ayn Rand Institute online.

Ayn Rand Anthem Essay Contest (Cash Prizes).

Deadline May 1, 2018

Ayn Rand Institute Anthem Essay Contest:

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

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

To stay informed about contest deadlines and other student updates, register here. Questions? Write to us at essay@aynrand.org.

 

Eligibility for Anthem: 8th, 9th, and 10th Grade students

Deadline May 1, 2018


Prizes:

1st place $2,000 (1 Winner)

2nd Place $500 (3 Winners)

3rd Place $200 (10 Winners)

Finalists $50 (45 Winners)

SEMIFINALISTS $30 (175 Winners)

SELECT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING THREE TOPICS (2018):

  • Anthem depicts a world of the future, a collectivist dictatorship in which even the word “I” has vanished. Discuss the hero’s struggle to free himself from collectivism. What makes his victory possible? In your essay, consider what Ayn Rand has to say in the excerpt titled “The Soul of an Individualist” from her novel The Fountainhead.

  • In Anthem, the City has numerous rules and controls. Why do these exist? What is their purpose? Do you think the society that Equality envisions creating at the end of the story would include any of these rules and controls? Explain why or why not.

  • Contrast Equality’s view of morality at the end of the novel to the morality exemplified by his society’s institutions, practices and officials. In your essay, consider what Ayn Rand has to say in these excerpts from her writings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CRITERIA

Essays will be judged on whether the student is able to argue for and justify his or her view—not on whether the Institute agrees with the view the student expresses. Judges will look for writing that is clear, articulate and logically organized. Winning essays must demonstrate an outstanding grasp of the philosophic meaning of Anthem.

REQUIREMENTS

  • No application is required. Contest is open to students worldwide, except where void or prohibited by law. Essays must be written in English only.
  • Entrant must be in the 8th, 9th or 10th grade at the time of the current contest deadline. Verification of school enrollment will be required for all winning entrants.
  • To avoid disqualification, mailed-in essays must include a stapled cover sheet with the following information:
    1. your name and address;
    2. your email address (if available);
    3. the name and address of your school;
    4. topic selected (#1, 2 or 3 from the “Topics” tab);
    5. your current grade level; and
    6. (optional) the name of the teacher who assigned the essay if you are completing it for classroom credit.
  • Essay must be no fewer than 600 and no more than 1,200 words in length, double-spaced. Spelling errors and/or written corrections (by anyone) found on the essay will count against the final grade and should be omitted before submission.
  • One entry per student per contest.
  • Essay must be submitted online or postmarked by May 1, 2018, no later than 11:59 PM, Pacific standard time.
  • The Ayn Rand Institute has the right to provide contest deadline extensions when deemed appropriate.
  • Essay must be solely the work of the entrant. Plagiarism will result in disqualification. Essays must not infringe on any third-party rights or intellectual property of any person, company or organization. By submitting an essay to this Contest, the entrant agrees to indemnify the Ayn Rand Institute for any claim, demand, judgment or other allegation arising from possible violation of someone’s trademark, copyright or other legally protected interest in any way in the entrant’s essay.
  • Decisions of the judges are final.
  • Employees of the Ayn Rand Institute, its board of directors and their immediate family members are not eligible for this contest. Past first-place winners are not eligible for this contest.
  • All entries become the property of the Ayn Rand Institute and will not be returned.
  • Winners, finalists, semifinalists and all other participants will be notified via email and/or by mail by August 3, 2018.
  • Winners are responsible for providing their mailing addresses and other necessary information under the law in order to receive any prizes. Contest winners agree to allow the Ayn Rand Institute to post their names on any of ARI’s affiliated websites. The first-place essay may be posted in its entirety on any of these websites with full credit given to the author.
  • Winners will be solely responsible for any federal, state or local taxes.

Protected by Ithenticate Plagiarism Detection Software 

NOVELIST About Ayn Rand

Howard Roark. John Galt. Dagny Taggart. Hank Rearden. The heroes of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged are famous because they're unique. Rand's stories, full of drama and intrigue, portray businessmen, inventors, architects, workers and scientists as noble, passionate figures. Where else will you find an inventor who must rediscover the word “I,” a young woman who defies a nation embracing communism, or an industrialist who must disguise himself as a playboy? A philosopher-pirate? An architect who is fiercely selfish yet enormously benevolent? A man who vows to stop the motor of the world — and does?

In creating her novels, Rand sought to make real her exalted view of man and of life — “like a beacon,” she wrote, “raised over the dark crossroads of the world, saying ‘This is possible.’” For millions of readers, the experience of entering Rand's universe proves unforgettable.

To submit your essay http://essaycontest.aynrandnovels.org/Anthem.aspx

 

  • 1ST PLACE

    $2,000

    1 Winner

  • 2ND PLACE

    $500

    5 Winners

  • 3RD PLACE

    $200

    10 Winners

  • FINALISTS

    $50

    45 Winners

  • SEMIFINALISTS

    $30

    175 Winners

ADVICE ON YOUR ESSAY SUBMISSION

Other than endorsing perfect punctuation and grammar in English, the Ayn Rand Institute offers no advice or feedback on contest essays.

The following links are recommended to improve your essay content:

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