Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest 2019

The Atlas Shrugged essay contest is a great way of testing your essay-writing abilities. More importantly, it may provide you with the oh so important financial opportunities for your further study.

If you are thinking of participating, there are certain steps you need to take. On this material, we are going to introduce you with what you need to do, as well as provide you with other information that we think you should know about the contest.

What is the Atlas Shrugged essay contest?

In the Atlas Shrugged essay contest, you are required to demonstrate your deep understanding of the philosophy of the novel “Atlas Shrugged” by Russian-American writer Ayn Rand. You are provided with three topics, and you need to choose one of them in order to show your perception of the novel. Those who have crafted the most compelling essays are awarded cash prizes by the Ayn Rand Institute.

What are the prizes of the Atlas Shrugged essay contest?

You are eligible for the Atlas Shrugged essay contest if you are a 12th grader, a college undergraduate, or a graduate student. In fact, you are eligible even if you are homeschooled. You just need to write “homeschooled” in the school name and address field.

In addition, you may enter the contest if you are in a lower grade, but not if in a higher grade. You do not need to have a declared major to enter the contest as well. For international students or for students with nonstandard school years, the Ayn Rand Institute may make exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

Foreign students are also eligible to enter the Atlas Shrugged essay contest, except for those living in countries or states where such contests are void or prohibited by law. Likewise, there are no age limits for entering the contest.

Lastly, the Atlas Shrugged essay contest is held annually, so you may enter the contest every year, unless you’ve previously won the first place in it.

How is my essay judged in the Atlas Shrugged essay contest?

Your ability to argue for your point of view and justify it is the thing that will be judged by the ARI. It does not matter whether or not the ARI agrees with your views.

A logically organized, articulate, and clear writing is highly likely to win you the contest. In addition, you must demonstrate “an outstanding grasp” of the philosophic meaning of the novel.

How do I submit my essay to the Atlas Shrugged essay contest?

You can do it via the contest’s submit form. You do not have to submit any applications: you just need to access the ARI Education Programs portal, sign up or log in to your existing account, complete an eligibility quiz, submit your essay, and complete the application form.

Make sure to keep a copy of your essay with you since the ARI will not provide you with any duplicates.

Most importantly, submit the essay before the deadline.

If you submit your essay electronically, you will receive an email notification within 24 hours. If submitting by mail, attach a stamped self-addressed postcard to the essay. Upon confirmation, you will receive the mail with a receipt.

What are the prizes of the Atlas Shrugged essay contest?

The prizes of the Atlas Shrugged essay contest are as follows as of the 2019 contest:

  • $25,000 for the first place, 1 winner.
  • $2,500 for the second place, 3 winners.
  • $500 for the third place, 5 winners.
  • $100 for the finalists, 50 winners.

The winners of the contest are typically contacted by April of the contest year.

All awards are cash prizes that are provided via a check. Thus, you do not need to apply the prize money toward college, and there are no restrictions on how the money is spent.

Requirements for entering the Atlas Shrugged essay contest.

There are certain requirements that you must meet in order to avoid disqualification from the contest. The most important requirements are:

  • The essay must be written in English.
  • The essay must be between at least 800 and no more than 1,600 words long. Lines and paragraphs must be double-spaced. Spelling errors or written corrections will count against your final grade.
  • Your essay must be on one of the three topics provided on the contest page.
  • If you send your essay via mail, you must include a stapled cover sheet with:
    • Your name and address.
    • Your email address if you have one.
    • The name and address of your school (here is where homeschooled students need to write “homeschooled”).
    • The selected topic.
    • Your current grade level.
    • If you are completing the essay for classroom credit, the name of the teacher who assigned it to you.
  • You are allowed one entry per contest. That is, you may not submit more than one essay for the Atlas Shrugged essay contest, but you may submit one entry for each contest offered by the ARI.
  • You must be the author of the essay. It will be considered plagiarism if someone else writes the essay for you, either fully or partially. However, you may have someone check your essay for errors.
  • Plagiarism will disqualify your essay. It is not plagiarism using someone else’s words as long as cite the sources.
  • Your essay must not infringe the intellectual rights of any person, company, or organization, or any third-party rights. Keep in mind that in accordance to the terms of the Ayn Rand Institute, by submitting the essay, you agree to indemnify the ARI for any claim, demand, or other allegation arising from possible copyright infringement.
  • If you have an immediate family member at the ARI, you will not be eligible for the contest. Likewise, ARI employees and its board of directors are not eligible as well.
  • Your entry will become the property of the ARI and will not be returned to you. For the purposes of marketing the contest, your essay may be reproduced by the ARI or shared with third parties. The first-place essay may be posted on any ARI affiliate website with credit to the author.

Also, keep in mind that by entering the contest, you agree that the ARI posts your name on any of its affiliated websites.

  • By entering the contest, winners consent to participate in interviews. You also consent to allow the ARI to use quotes from the interviews, as well as take photographs and movies of them. Winners grant the ARI the right to edit and reuse the interview footage as well.
  • If you win a prize, you are responsible for providing the information necessary under the law in order to receive it.
  • Winners are responsible for handling any federal, state, or local taxes, whichever is applicable.