12th Graders, College Undergraduates, and Graduate Students;
No application is required;
Contest is open to students worldwide, except where void or prohibited by law;
Essays must be written in English only.
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. Application deadline is until April 28, 2017.
Select one of the followring three topics:
- Francisco d’Anconia says that the “words ‘to make money’ hold the essence of human morality.” What does he mean? What are today’s prevalent moral attitudes toward money? Do you agree with Francisco’s view? Explain why or why not.
- Atlas Shrugged is both a celebration of business and a defense of it against widespread attacks. Judging from the novel, as well as from Ayn Rand’s essay “What Is Capitalism?” and her speech “America’s Persecuted Minority: Big Business,” why does she think business should be defended and championed? What does she think is a proper defense of business, and why?
- Ragnar Danneskjöld says he loves that which has rarely been loved, namely, human ability. What do you think he means? How does his position relate to the idea: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”? Do you agree or disagree with Ragnar’s attitude? Explain.
- 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 a 12th-grader, college undergraduate or graduate student 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 800 and no more than 1,600 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.
- Essay must be submitted online or postmarked by April 28, 2017, 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, 2017.
- 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.
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Submit your essay online or mail your essay with stapled cover sheet to:
Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest
The Ayn Rand Institute
P.O Box 57044
Irvine, CA 92619-7044
Please do not submit duplicate essays!
Entrants are responsible for keeping copies of their essays, as duplicate copies will not be provided. If submitting your essay electronically, you will be sent an email confirming our receipt. If you have not received an email notification within 24 hours, please email email@example.com. If you are submitting by mail, please paperclip a stamped, self-addressed postcard to your essay and we will return it to you with essay receipt confirmation.
The Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) is a nonprofit think tank in Irvine, California that promotes Objectivism, a philosophical system developed by author Ayn Rand.
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