Ayn Rand Novel Essay Contest

Take out your history books folks because today we are going to be talking about writer/philosopher, Ayn Rand. Rand has been called a lot of things over the years, original, uncompromising, controversial. However, I bet you that the last thing she expected to become was the symbol for a scholarship. Rand was born in the twentieth century in Russia which as you can imagine isn’t the “safest” place to be at that time. Luckily, she escaped and came to America.

While in America she wrote a number of best-selling novels, created a new philosophy and become a champion of reason and individualism. The Ayn Rand Institute sponsors an annual essay contest that offer over 600 prizes and give away $100,000 in prize money every single year.

The Scholarship

Technically this isn’t just one scholarship, it’s four! Of course, you won’t be able to enter every single one as there are certain restrictions imposed (but more on that below). For now the most important thing to focus on is what you will be writing an essay on.

Ayn Rand wrote four highly successful books:

  1. Anthem
  2. Atlas Shrugged
  3. We The Living
  4. The Fountainhead

You will be expected to write an essay on a topic of your choosing for one of the novels above (assuming you qualify for the contest.) Your essay will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Style
  • Content
  • Clear Writing
  • Articulate Writing
  • You must demonstrate a grasp of the philosophic meaning of the novel.

As far as prize money goes….

You can expect to win between $25-$10,000 in scholarship money (depending on where you place in the contest.)

Qualifications For The Scholarship

Each of the four novels has different qualifications. For example, some novels are only open to students in grades 8-10. While other novels are open to only grades 11-12. We will give you a link to the essay contest below so you can do some digging of your own to find out which of the novels you qualify to write about.

  • As for other qualifications:
  • You obviously have to have read the novel (if you didn’t then trust us you won’t place very highly.)
  • You have to be a student.
  • You will be responsible for submitting your name, email address and phone number (in case you win they need to know where to contact you!)
  • Only one entry per student.

How The Essay Should Be Written

As with every essay contest there are certain ways that judges want to see essays written. The team at Writing Scholarships found the following guidelines when searching for how an Ayn Rand novel essay should be written:

  • You essay word length will vary from novel to novel (be sure to check on the Ayn Rand site we give you a link to below.)
  • No duplicate essays are allowed.
  • You have to include a cover sheet (check the cover sheet guidelines at the Ayn Rand site we give you a link to below.)

Where You Should Go To Apply

To learn more about this essay contest please visit the following link (you will also be able to learn about which novels have which qualifications:)


In order to submit your essay, you can send it electronically by email via the specified place on the site we provided a link to above.

If you plan on mailing your essay physically then please mail it to the following address:

Anthem Essay Contest

The Ayn Rand Institute

P.O. Box 57044

Irvine, CA 92619-7044

If you are confused about something or have a question, then please email support here: essays@aynrand.org