Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest 2010

Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest for:

12th Grade and College Students
Deadline: September 17, 2010

  • FIRST PRIZE: $10,000
  • 3 SECOND PRIZES: $2,000
  • 5 THIRD PRIZES: $1,000
  • 20 FINALISTS: $100

Atlas Shrugged—Topics

Select ONE of the following three topics:

1. According to John Galt, selfishness is both moral and practical. Explain what he means by this and how events of the story illustrate and dramatize his point.

2. Explain the meaning and wider significance of the following quote: “The words ‘to make money’ hold the essence of human morality.” According to the story of Atlas Shrugged, what ideas underlie the opposing maxims that “money is the root of all evil” and that “money is the root of all good”?

3. Capitalism’s defenders usually appeal to the “public good.” Contrast their approach to capitalism to Ayn Rand’s approach in Atlas Shrugged.

Atlas Shrugged—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 Atlas Shrugged.

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.

Atlas Shrugged—Rules
  • No application is required. Contest is open to students worldwide.
  • Entrant must be in 12th grade or college/university at the time of entry. Graduate students and part-time students are eligible.
  • Essay must be between 800 and 1,600 words.
  • Essay must be submitted by September 17, 2010, by 11:59 PM, PST.
  • Essay must be solely the work of the entrant. Plagiarized essays will be disqualified.
  • Entrants may submit only one 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.
  • Participants will be notified of the contest results by November 27, 2010.

Atlas Shrugged—To Enter

» Submit Your Essay via Our Web Form

Click on the above link to access our Web Form. Simply fill in your contact information (this takes the place of a cover sheet), copy and paste your essay into the designated field and click "Submit." A message stating "Your entry is being routed" will immediately follow. 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

Please check your junk e-mail for your notification.

Please do not send additional copies of your essay.

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

Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest
The Ayn Rand Institute
P.O. Box 57044
Irvine, CA 92619-7044

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); declared major (if applicable); the name of the teacher who assigned the essay (if applicable).

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

To learn more about Atlas Shrugged, go to:

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


0 Comment:

Post a Comment

Recent Comments