Ayn Rand Fountainhead Contest

Ayn Rand Fountainhead Contest

Have you read one of Ayn Rand’s thought-provoking novels? Now’s the time! Enter an Ayn Rand Institute essay contest. The contest is designed to the 11th or 12th-grade students. Contest offer an array of educational programs to enable students at all levels of knowledge to learn about Ayn Rand’s philosophy and novels. This year they will award over 500 prizes totaling more than $90,000.

Ayn Rand has inspired individuals around the world to discard convention and pursue a better life. They offer an array of educational programs to enable students at all levels of knowledge to learn about Ayn Rand’s philosophy and novels.


To receive the Ayn Rand’s contest, a beneficiary must:

  • The 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 11th or 12th grade at the time of the current contest deadline. Verification of school enrollment will be required for all winning entrants.

How to Apply:

  • In order to apply, candidates must submit an essay must be no fewer than 800 and no more than 1,600 words in length, double-spaced. on the following topic:
  1. Howard Roark was Ayn Rand’s first complete presentation of a moral ideal. Judging from The Fountainhead, what is it about Roark’s character and his approach to life that Rand regards as ideal for a human being? Why does she think this? Which, if any, aspects of Roark’s character or approach to life do you think are worthy of emulating morally? Which, if any, should not be emulated? Explain.
  2. Ayn Rand is often criticized for creating “unrealistic” heroes. Why might someone regard Howard Roark as “unrealistic”? What do you think of this criticism? Is Roark an “unrealistic” character, a “realistic” one, or neither? Why? In explaining your answer, consider what Rand has to say in her essay “The Goal of My Writing.”
  3. In his courtroom speech, Howard Roark explains the nature, motivation, and importance of those who create values (such as new artworks, technological inventions and innovations, and advances in theoretical knowledge). Why does he think that value-creation and what it requires of the creators is crucially important from a moral perspective? In your answer, consider what a character from another Ayn Rand novel, Atlas Shrugged, has to say about the process of value-creation, in the speech The Nature of an Artist.”

Supporting Documents:

You will need to provide the following information and materials

  • Your name and address
  • Your email address (if available)
  • The name and address of your school
  • Topic selected
  • Your current grade level and
  • Optional the name of the teacher who assigned the essay if you are completing it for classroom credit.

Submitting Details:        

You can mail your essay with stapled cover sheet to:

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

Financial Aid and Award Money:                             

  • 1st Place: 1 winner will receive $10,000
  • 2nd Place: 5 winners will receive $2,000 each
  • 3rd Place: 10 winners will receive $1,000 each
  • Finalists: 45 winners will receive $100 each
  • Semifinalists: 175 winners will receive $50 each

Application Deadline: 

The deadline for submission of applications is April 26, 2017. Winners will be notified by August 3, 2017.

Link for More Information:


Contact Information:

Have you any Questions? Write at essay-at-aynrand.org.

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