2014 Atlas Shrugged Essay Competition- Win Cash Prizes ranging from $50USD to $10,000 USD

2014 Atlas Shrugged Essay Competition- Win Cash Prizes ranging from $50USD to $10,000 USD

Deadline: October 24, 2014

Ayn Rand Institute is now accepting submissions for its 2014 Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest. The Ayn Rand Institute sponsors annual essay contests that offer 600 prizes and $100,000 in prize money every year. For details, choose from the subjects shown on the left. Atlas Shrugged is a 1957 novel written by Ayn Rand. After completing this novel, participants are expected to submit an essay on one of the following topics:

  1. In the novel, James Taggart’s first words are “Don’t bother me, don’t bother me, don’t bother me.” Why is this significant? How do his first words relate to his thoughts and actions throughout the novel?
  2. At Hank Rearden’s wedding anniversary party, a guest says “Isn’t it odd? When a politician or a movie star retires, we read front page stories about it. But when a philosopher retires, people do not even notice it.” To which, Francisco D’Anconia replies, “They do, eventually.” What does Francisco mean? How does his answer relate to the theme of the novel?
  3. Explain Ragnar Danneskjold’s statement that Robin Hood is the one man he is out to destroy. What is the deeper moral meaning of his claim?


  • First Prize: $10,000
  • 3 Second Prizes: $2,000
  • 5 Third Prizes: $1,000
  • 25 Finalists: $100
  • 50 Semifinalist: $50


  • This competition is open to students worldwide
  • Participants must be either 12th graders, college undergraduates or graduate students
  • 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.

How to Enter

Mail essays to:

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

or submit online at ARI submission portal

Entry Guidelines

  • 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.
  • Essay must be postmarked no later than October 24, 2014, no later than 11:59 PM, Pacific Standard time.
  • 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.
  • All entries become the property of the Ayn Rand Institute and will not be returned.
  • Winners, finalists, semi-finalists and all other participants will be notified via e-mail by December 20, 2014.
  • Winners are responsible to provide 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 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.

For more information visit Ayn Rand Essay Contest