The Anthem Essay Contest is an annual contest on Ayn Rand’s Anthem, a dystopian fiction novella that deals with topics of individuality.
Who is eligible to apply for the Anthem Essay Contest?
This contest is open to 8th – 12th grade students aged 13 – 18. Students are permitted to submit one entry per year.
How do I apply?
To enter, students must write an essay responding to one of three prompts on Anthem:
- In the society of Anthem, individuals are persecuted for their pursuit of knowledge. Why do you think this is? What lessons can be drawn from Anthem about how we should think about the pursuit of knowledge in our world today, especially in the face of social opposition?
- In what ways do you think people should be more like Equality 7-2521? In your answer, give examples of Equality’s actions, character, or attitude that you think are good or admirable. Using experiences from your own life, explain why you think these actions or traits are good and worth emulating.
- The people in the society of Anthem are taught to live by certain principles concerning what is good and evil, right and wrong. Do you think those who adhere to these principles are happy or unhappy? What lessons do you draw from this about how we should think about morality today?
Essays will be judged on whether the student is able to argue for and justify his or her 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 Anthem.
Essays should be written in English only, and should be between 600 and 1,200 words in length, double-spaced.
How much is awarded through the Anthem Essay Contest?
The award amounts are as follows:
- First Prize: $2,000 (1 winner)
- Second Prize: $250 (3 winners)
- Third Prize: $100 (5 winners)
When are the Anthem Essay Contest applications due?
The deadline to submit your essay and application is April 29, 2021!
Essays must be submitted through the online application portal accessible at aynrand.org/contests. Students unable to submit their essays electronically should contact email@example.com to arrange another option.
Best of luck to all who apply! For more writing contests, check out our list of writing & essay scholarships!