Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest Information

Eligibility: 12th Graders, College Undergraduates, and Graduate Students

Entry Deadline: October 24, 2014

FIRST PRIZE: $10,000
3 SECOND PRIZES: $2,000
5 THIRD PRIZES: $1,000
25 FINALISTS: $100
50 SEMIFINALISTS: $50

Atlas Shrugged Cover

Topics

Select ONE of the following three topics:

  1. In the novel, James Taggart’s first words are “Don’t bother me, don't bother me, don’t bother me.” Why is this significant? How do his first words relate to his thoughts and actions throughout the novel?

  2. At Hank Rearden’s wedding anniversary party, a guest says “Isn’t it odd? When a politician or a movie star retires, we read front page stories about it. But when a philosopher retires, people do not even notice it.” To which, Francisco D’Anconia replies, “They do, eventually.” What does Francisco mean? How does his answer relate to the theme of the novel?

  3. Explain Ragnar Danneskjold’s statement that Robin Hood is the one man he is out to destroy. What is the deeper moral meaning of his claim?

Judging

Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest

The winning applicant will be judged on both style and content. Judges will look for writing that is clear, articulate and logically organized. Winning essays must demonstrate an outstanding grasp of the philosophic meaning of Atlas Shrugged. Essay submissions are evaluated in a fair and unbiased four-round judging process. Judges are individually selected by the Ayn Rand Institute based on a demonstrated knowledge and understanding of Ayn Rand’s works. To ensure the anonymity of our participants, essay cover sheets are removed after the first round. Winners’ names are unknown to judges until after essays have been ranked and the contest results finalized. The Ayn Rand Institute checks essays with Ithenticate plagiarism detection software.

Rules

  • No application is required. The Contest is open to students worldwide, except where void or prohibited by law.

  • Entrant must be a 12th Grader, College Undergraduate, or Graduate Student. To avoid disqualification, mailed in essays must include a stapled cover sheet with the following information:


    1. your name and address;
    2. your e-mail address (if available);
    3. the name and address of your school;
    4. topic selected (#1, 2 or 3 from list above);
    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, and double-spaced.

  • Essay must be postmarked no later than October 24, 2014, no later than 11:59 PM, Pacific Standard time.

  • 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, semi-finalists and all other participants will be notified via e-mail by December 20, 2014.

  • Winners are responsible to provide 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 winning 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.

To Enter


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!

If submitting your essay electronically, you will be sent an email confirming our receipt. If you have not received an e-mail notification within 24 hours, please e-mail info@aynrandnovels.com. If you are submitting by mail, please paperclip a stamped, self-addressed postcard to the your essay and we will return it to you.

To learn more about Atlas Shrugged, go to: http://atlasshrugged.com

Comments or Questions

Comments or questions about the essay contests are welcome. Please write to info@aynrandnovels.com.

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Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest Submission


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Please select the topic question your essay addresses


In the novel, James Taggart’s first words are “Don’t bother me, don’t bother me, don’t bother me.” Why is this significant? How do his first words relate to his thoughts and actions throughout the novel?
At Hank Rearden’s wedding anniversary party, a guest says “Isn’t it odd? When a politician or a movie star retires, we read front page stories about it. But when a philosopher retires, people do not even notice it.” To which, Francisco D’Anconia replies, “They do, eventually.” What does Francisco mean? How does his answer relate to the theme of the novel?
Explain Ragnar Danneskjold’s statement that Robin Hood is the one man he is out to destroy. What is the deeper moral meaning of his claim?
Do not include a title page and be sure to remove any personally identifiable information from your document (i.e. name, address, school, teacher’s name).

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