Former Participants' Essay Contest Information

How Has Reading Ayn Rand’s Novels Affected You?

Eligibility: Grades 11 through College/Adult

Entry Deadline: May 14, 2012


Ayn Rand Novel Covers

Grades 11 through College/Adult are Welcome to Participate!

Over the years, the Ayn Rand Institute has received hundreds of letters from participants who want to share their reaction to Ayn Rand’s novels, as well as the impact that entering the contest has had on their lives. Now we are inviting all former participants of the Ayn Rand Institute essay contests to tell us their story.

Please tell us how reading Ayn Rand’s novel(s) and participating in ARI’s essay contest(s) has had an influence on you.

Topic Question:

  • What was your initial response to the novel(s)? In what ways has reading Ayn Rand inspired you and the choices you have made in your life?


Essays 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 Ayn Rand’s novels.

Essay submissions are evaluated in a fair and unbiased multi-round judging process. To ensure the anonymity of our participants, cover sheets and identifying information are removed after the first round. Winners’ names remain unknown to judges until after the essays have been ranked and the contest results finalized. The Ayn Rand Institute checks essays with Ithenticate plagiarism detection software.

How Has Reading Ayn Rand Affected You?


  • No application is required. Contest is open to students worldwide.

  • Entrant must be an 11th Grader through College/Adult.

  • 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 (if applicable);
    4. topic selected (#1 or 2 from list above); and
    5. your current grade level (if applicable)
  • Entrants must have participated in an Ayn Rand Institute essay contest.

  • Essay must be no fewer than 700 and no more than 1,500 words in length and double-spaced.

  • One entry per participant, please.

  • Essay must be submitted online or postmarked by May 31, 2012, 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.

  • 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.

  • All entries become the property of the Ayn Rand Institute and will not be returned.

  • Winners, finalists and all other participants will be notified via e-mail and/or by mail by July 27, 2012.

  • 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.

How Has Reading Ayn Rand Affected You?—To Enter

Or mail your essay with stapled cover sheet to:

Former Participants' Essay Contest
Ayn Rand Institute Contests
P.O. Box 57044
Irvine, CA 92619-7044

If you wish to verify our receipt of your essay, please paperclip a stamped, self-addressed postcard to the essay.

Please do not submit duplicate essays!

Comments or Questions

Comments or questions about the essay contests are welcome. Please write to

Protected by Ithenticate Plagiarism Detection Software


Former Participants' Essay Contest Submission

All fields are required except where indicated.
Your Information:
First name Last name
City Country State/Prov Zip/Postal code
Telephone number (optional) Email address Email confirm
Yes, I would like to opt-in to receive the following emails from the Ayn Rand Institute:

Your grade level
Your Teacher & School Information
Please enter your Teacher’s ID:
If you do not have a Teacher ID
enter your school’s zip code:
Name of school
City Country State/Prov Zip/Postal code
Name of the teacher who assigned the essay (if applicable)
First Name Last Name

Send confirmation email to teacher...
Is your essay submission a classroom assignment?     Is this a home school?
Home School Address
Your Essay
Please select the topic question your essay addresses

What was your initial response to the novel(s)? In what ways has reading Ayn Rand inspired you and the choices you have made in your life?

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).

Have you checked to ensure that all personally identifiable information has been removed from your essay?
You must enter text in the box before clicking Next...
Upload your essay below — no cover sheets, please.
  (only .pdf, .doc, .docx, .rtf, .txt, allowed…)
You must upload a document file before clicking Next... only .pdf, .doc, .docx, .rtf, .txt, files allowed…
You have already sumbitted an essay for this contest this year.
Please choose another contest...
You must fill in all the boxes in red above before clicking Continue...
The two email entries above do not match... You must enter a valid email...