Anthem Essay Contest - Ayn Rand Institute

About this Award: 

There are now two Anthem contests, for two sets of grade levels. One contest for grades 8, 9 and 10, and one contest for grades 11 & 12. Essays will be judged on whether the student is able to argue for and justify his or her view-not on whether the Institute agrees with the view the student expresses.


Judges will look for writing that is clear, articulate and logically organized. Winning essays must demonstrate an outstanding grasp of the philosophic meaning of Anthem.



$2,000 - 1st place (1 winner)

$250 - 2nd place (3 winners)

$100 - 3rd place (5 winners)

$50 - Finalists (50 awards)


Number of Awards Available: 

59 (for each grade group)



April 29, 2021


Region of Study: 



Level of Study: 

Junior high; Middle school; High school


Eligibility : 

No application is required. Contest is open to students worldwide, except where void or prohibited by law. Essays must be written in English only.

Entrant must be in the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade at the time of the current contest deadline. ARI reserves the right to make exceptions to this rule, on a case-by-case basis, for international students or for students with nonstandard school years.


Essay Required?: 



Essay Details: 

Select one of three topics:

1. Near the end of the story, Prometheus writes that “the day will come when I shall . . . raze the cities of the enslaved” and that “the Councils of my brothers will be impotent against me.” Why do you think Prometheus foresees a struggle with his collectivist world? Why does he think he will prevail? For your essay, consider also what Ayn Rand writes in this excerpt from her novel The Fountainhead, titled “The Soul of an Individualist.”

2. The old locks and lack of guards in the Palace of Corrective Detention indicate that prisoners never try to escape. Why do you think they do not? In your essay, consider the following excerpt from Ayn Rand’s novel The Fountainhead, titled “The Soul of a Collectivist.”

3. Does the World Council of Scholars reject Equality only because he is different or for some additional reason? What is it about Equality, specifically, that they are so opposed to, and what do you think motivates their opposition toward him? Explain your answer.


Essay must be no fewer than 600 and no more than 1,200 words in length, double-spaced. Spelling errors and/or written corrections (by anyone) found on the essay will count against the final grade and should be omitted before submission.

One entry per student per contest.


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