Ayn Rand 'The Fountainhead' Essay Contest

Have you read one of Ayn Rand’s thought-provoking novels? Now’s the time! Enter Ayn Rand Institute's, The Fountainhead essay contest for your chance to win. ARI has held worldwide essay contests for students on Ayn Rand’s fiction for thirty years.

Annual Amount

1 $10,000

5 $2,000

10 $1,000

45 $100

175 $50
For Special Regional Contests prize amounts click the link below to the contest website.

Additional Selection Criteria

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 The Fountainhead.

Application Process


  • 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 11th or 12th grade at the time of the current contest deadline. Verification of school enrollment will be required for all winning entrants.
  • Essay must be no fewer than 800 and no more than 1,600 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.
  • Essay must be submitted online or postmarked by May 15, 2018, no later than 11:59 p.m., Pacific Standard Time.

For further requirements and information click the link to the contest website below.


May 15, 2018


August 29, 2018

For the application or more information go to: