The Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest is an annual contest on Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged that offers awards up to $10,000.
This 1957 novel advocates for Rand’s views on reason, individualism, and capitalism, and depicts what Rand saw to be the failures of governmental coercion.
Who is eligible to apply for the Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest?
This contest is open to 12th grade, undergraduate, and graduate students. It’s free to enter, and international students are more than welcome to apply!
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 Atlas Shrugged. You can find the prompts on the contest website.
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 Atlas Shrugged.
Essays should be written in English only, and should be between 800 and 1,600 words in length, double-spaced.
How much is awarded through the contest?
The award amounts are as follows:
- First Prize: $10,000 (1 winner)
- Second Prize: $2,500 (3 winners)
- Third Prize: $500 (5 winners)
When are the Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest applications due?
The deadline to submit your essay and application is September 27, 2021!
Essays must be submitted through the online application portal accessible at aynrand.org/contests. Students unable to submit their essays electronically should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange another option.
Best of luck to all who apply! For more writing contests, check out our list of writing & essay scholarships!