The Fountainhead Essay Contest Information

Eligibility: 11th and 12th Graders

Entry Deadline: April 26, 2015

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

The Fountainhead Cover

Topics

Select ONE of the following three topics:

  1. At the end of Part II, Ellsworth Toohey confronts Howard Roark and says, "Mr. Roark, we're alone here. Why don't you tell me what you think of me?" To which Roark replies, "But I don’t think of you." Explain how this brief exchange relates to the novel's theme.

  2. Gail Wynand is a brilliant individual who rose out of the slums by means of his own talent and effort. But despite his reverence for man's noblest achievements, his newspaper, The Banner, presents the most lurid and loathsome values. Why does Wynand pander in this manner?

  3. In dynamiting Cortlandt Homes, Howard Roark breaks the law. What is his moral and philosophical argument for the rectitude of his action?

Judging

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 The Fountainhead.

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. Contest is open to students worldwide.

  • Entrant must be in the 11th or 12th grade.

  • 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.

  • One entry per student.

  • Essay must be postmarked no later than April 26, 2015, 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. 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 e-mail and/or by mail by July 26, 2015.

  • 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:

The Fountainhead 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.

Comments or Questions

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

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The Fountainhead Essay Contest Submission


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At the end of Part II, Ellsworth Toohey confronts Howard Roark and says, "Mr. Roark, we're alone here. Why don't you tell me what you think of me?" To which Roark replies, "But I don’t think of you." Explain how this brief exchange relates to the novel's theme.

Gail Wynand is a brilliant individual who rose out of the slums by means of his own talent and effort. But despite his reverence for man's noblest achievements, his newspaper, The Banner, presents the most lurid and loathsome values. Why does Wynand pander in this manner?

In dynamiting Cortlandt Homes, Howard Roark breaks the law. What is his moral and philosophical argument for the rectitude of his action?

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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