Ayn Rand Institute Essay Contest

The Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) sponsors annual essay contests for students on Ayn Rand's novels. These essay contests are open to high school students, college students, and graduate students. Prizes for the essay contests range from $50 to $10,000, and the top essays are published on the ARI website.

Competition Details

Introduction: The Ayn Rand Institute Essay Contests are created by the Ayn Rand organization, in memory of this great novelist. The contests motivate students to engage deeply with Rand’s ideas by reflecting on her novels’ profound and influential themes. Students who participate in the contest must read their chosen book meticulously, tackle its intricate concepts, and extend the limits of their writing abilities. The aim is to foster in students a profound admiration for Rand’s literary works and pique their curiosity in the underlying philosophy.

Competition Progress: First, students will select the book according to your level of education, and begin reading. Then, students will write an essay on the book depending on the essay question you have chosen to write on. Finally, you have to submit the essay for grading. Make sure that the information you provide in your application is correct, and your essay satisfies our requirements.

Contest Details: There are three contests within the competition: Anthem, The Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged, named after three of the novels she has published.

  • Anthem: For students from grade 8th – 12th. Students will receive top prize of $2,000. 
  • The Fountainhead: For students from grade 11th – 12th. Students will receive top prize of $5,000. 
  • Atlas Shrugged: For students in grade 12, College Undergraduates and Graduate Students. Students will receive top prize of $10,000.

Grading Standards: Essays are judged on four criteria: Clarity, Organization, Understanding, and On Topic. 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. 

Competition Website: For more information about the competition, click here.


Students from grade 8 to 12 from around the world are welcome to apply

Submission deadline

April 27, 2023 for Anthem and The Fountainhead; and November 6, 2023 for Atlas Shrugged

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