Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest

For grade 12 and college/university students

Deadline: Now May 10, 2017

Cash Awards

1 First Prize: US$20,000
5 Second Prizes: US$2,000
10 Third Prizes: US$1,000
45 Finalists: US$100
175 Semi-Finalists: US$50

Bonus Cash Prizes For Entrants Residing Or Studying In Canada

Entrants are automatically eligible with valid Canadian home or school address. Rules and deadlines are the same in conjunction with the worldwide contest. Email eduprograms@aynrandinstitute.ca for further details.

CAD$500 First Place: (1 winner)
CAD$300 Second Place: (Up to 3 winners)
CAD$200 Third Place: (Up to 5 winners)
CAD$50 Top-Scoring Essays: (3 awards, if none place)

Topics

Select ONE of the following three topics:

1

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.

2

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?

3

Ragnar Danneskjöld says he loves that which has rarely been loved, namely, human ability. What do you think he means? How does his position it 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.

Judging

Essays will be judged on whether the student is able to argue for and justify their view—not on whether the Institute agrees with the view the student expresses. 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 Canada 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 Canada checks essays with Ithenticate plagiarism detection software.

Rules

  • 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.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 May 10, 2017, no later than 11:59 PM, Pacific 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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To Enter

Submit online

You will receive an e-mail acknowledging receipt of your entry within 24 hours. If it has been at least 24 hours, and you have not received e-mail notification, please e-mail eduprograms@aynrandinstitute.ca. Please check your junk e-mail for your notification. Please do not re-submit.

Students unable to submit their essays online may mail essays to:

Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest
The Ayn Rand Institute Canada
6540 E. Hastings Street, Suite 812
Burnaby, BC V5B 4Z5
CANADA

For mailed-in essays only—You MUST include a stapled cover sheet with the following information: your name; mailing address; e-mail address; the name and address of your school; topic selected (#1, 2 or 3 from the list above); your current grade level; the name of the teacher who assigned the essay (if applicable).

Please do not submit duplicate essays!

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

Comments or questions about the essay contests are welcome. Please write to eduprograms@aynrandinstitute.ca.

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