ATLAS SHRUGGED Essay Contest for Global Students

Aspiring writers or students of all educational levels are encouraged to apply to the ATLAS SHRUGGED Essay Contest, a prestigious writing competition that awards up to $10,000 for the best piece.

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Are you an aspiring writer?

Or, are you simply a student looking for extra funding for your school?

In that case, a writing contest is worth trying. Entering writing contests helps future writers hone their writing careers. On the other hand, for students like you, the prize for winning one contest helps you to defray your tuition costs.

Many prestigious foundations and institutions hold top writing competitions today. For example, the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) is one that opens legitimate contests annually with thousands of dollars in cash as prizes. The competitions invite students of all levels to demonstrate their argumentative and writing skills.

Sounds like a sweet deal? Keep on reading to learn more about this writing competition.

About the ATLAS SHRUGGED Essay Contest

ATLAS SHRUGGED Essay Contest is an annual writing competition by ARI. Applications are free and open to global applicants of all educational levels, whether they are high school, undergraduate, or graduate students.

As the name implies, the contest requires applicants to compose an analytical essay on Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand’s magnum opus. Published in 1957, it was Rand’s fourth and final novel. Generally, the work presents objectivism and combines themes of mystery, romance, and science fiction.

The ATLAS SHRUGGED Essay Contest and other competitions by ARI have been going on for almost four decades. They encourage both students and prospective authors to seriously consider Rand’s views by reading and reflecting on her well-known novels.

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Candidates must read the book, consider its challenging ideas, and push the limits of their writing skills. ARI believes that students will have a deeper understanding of Ayn Rand’s literary works and grow curious about the philosophy that underlies them.

Meanwhile, Ayn Rand was an American novelist and philosopher. She gained notoriety by authoring well-known books like The Fountainhead, Anthem, and Atlas Shrugged. The board and staff of ARI created the institution to provide educational opportunities that will help people better grasp Rand’s ideas.

Program Benefits

The ATLAS SHRUGGED Essay Contest awards cash prizes to the winners with entries that satisfy the judging criteria. The amount for each category is:

  • $10,000 for first place (one winner)
  • $2,500 for second place (three winners)
  • $500 for third place (five winners)
  • $100 for finalist (25 winners)
  • $25 for semi-finalist (50 winners)

The good news is that there are no restrictions on how recipients spend the prize money! As well as helping you become a better writer and thinker, this is a great way to get extra money for college and other higher education.

Eligibility Requirements

As mentioned earlier, the ATLAS SHRUGGED Essay Contest is open to international students at all levels of education, from high school senior to graduate students. Applicants are not required to purchase a copy of Atlas Shrugged to enter the competition. In fact, ARI does provide a free digital copy on request.

To obtain the e-book, click here, complete the form, and expect to receive your file within 24 hours! Keep in mind that the deal is only valid for current and recent students. Also, it may only be accessed through Google Play Books.

Contact ARI customer service to learn about alternate possibilities if you do not reside in one of the countries where Google Play Books is available.

The ATLAS SHRUGGED Essay Contest Application

To enter the ATLAS SHRUGGED Essay Contest, write an essay on Atlas Shrugged in 800 to 1600 words in English. The essay must be your own unique work; else, you will be automatically disqualified. You may only submit one entry each year.

So, what should you write on your paper? You can choose one of the following topics:

  1. Material possessions that many of the characters in Atlas Shrugged take for granted grow more and more elusive as the tale develops. Give many instances of these items, and then discuss how the narrative explains their disappearance. Also, identify the economic, moral, and philosophical factors that contributed to their extinction. Do the shortages our world has recently experienced have any notable similarities? Describe any similarities and differences (using contemporary examples).
  2. There are both literal and figurative allusions to motors and motive power throughout Atlas Shrugged. Give three instances of this from the book, and explain each one’s significance in relation to the situations they were chosen from. What connections does this meaning have to the book’s larger philosophical themes?
  3. John Galt saves particular scorn for the “mystics” who assert that man’s job is to “crawl through years of penance, atoning for the guilt of his existence to any stray collector of unintelligible debts” among the several “morality of death” proponents he criticizes in his radio speech. Give at least two of the human nature beliefs that Galt claims these mystics promote to support their moral worldview. Then, pick a character from Atlas Shrugged who has trouble embracing these principles to demonstrate their impact. (If someone issues with both, only bring up one.) What kinds of actions are encouraged by the doctrines? What are the repercussions for the relevant character(s)? How does this conflict get resolved?
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Most importantly, any text you decide to use from the book you are writing about should be cited with the appropriate page number(s) and surrounded by quotation marks. If you decide to use quotes from secondary sources, a bibliography is only necessary in such case.

On a side note, we have a guide on writing a winning essay that you may want to check to increase your chances of winning.

Grading Criteria

Your essay will be scored according to how well you can defend and justify your opinions, not according to how much the institute concurs with them. In fact, the graders seek for writing that is concise, well-organized, and straightforward.

So, your essay must stay on topic, respond to every aspect of the chosen question, and connect the themes and plot points of the book. All in all, winning essays must show a strong understanding of the novel’s philosophic themes.

Closing Date

Enter the ATLAS SHRUGGED Essay Contest before or on September 26, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. (PDT). In addition to submitting your essay, you will also need to create a SurveyMonkey account to apply.

Contact Details

Have more questions that we did not cover here? No worries! Write to ARI at for a spot-on solution. The answers you need will arrive in your email within three to five business days.

The ATLAS SHRUGGED Essay Contest Official Website

Visit to enter the writing contest today! Invite your friends or recommend the contest to those you think might be interested in participating.

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