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2014 We the Living Essay Contest | @aynrandnovels

2014 We the Living Essay Contest | @aynrandnovels

2014 We the Living Essay ContestEntries are invited for the 2014 We the Living Essay Contest.


Select ONE of the following three topics:

1.            What explains the prevalence of propaganda depicted in the novel and the endless use of pro-Communist slogans used by everyone, from Party lectures to private conversations?

2.            How does the novel’s theme necessitate the “fates” of the main characters?

3.            Did Ayn Rand believe Communism is a noble idea that was betrayed by power-hungry leaders? How do events in the novel support her assessment of Communism?


Ayn Rand Institute


First prize: $3,000

5 second prizes: $1000

5 third prizes: $300

25 finalists: $50

80 semifinalists: $25


6 May, 2014


  • Essays will be judged on both style and content. Judges will look for writing that is clear, articulate and logically organized.
  • Winning essays must demonstrate an outstanding grasp of the philosophic meaning of We the Living.
  • Essay submissions are evaluated in a fair and unbiased four-round judging process.
  • Judges are individually selected by the Ayn Rand Institute based on a demonstrated knowledge and understanding of Ayn Rand’s works.
  • To ensure the anonymity of our participants, essay cover sheets are removed after the first round. Winners’ names are unknown to judges until after essays have been ranked and the contest results finalized.
  • The Ayn Rand Institute checks essays with Ithenticate plagiarism detection software.
  • No application is required. Contest is open to students worldwide.
  • Entrant must be in the 10th, 11th or 12th grade (SS1, SS2 & SS3).
  • To avoid disqualification, mailed in essays must include a stapled cover sheet with the following information:

1. your name and address;

2. your e-mail address (if available);

3. the name and address of your school;

4. topic selected (#1, 2 or 3 from list above);

5. your current grade level; and

6. (optional) the name of the teacher who assigned the essay, if you are completing it for classroom credit.

  • Essay must be no fewer than 700 and no more than 1,500 words in length, and double-spaced.
  • One entry per student.
  • Essay must be submitted online or postmarked by May 6, 2014, no later than 11:59 PM, Pacific Standard Time.
  • The Ayn Rand Institute has the right to provide contest deadline extensions when deemed appropriate.
  • Essay must be solely the work of the entrant. Plagiarism will result in disqualification.
  • Decisions of the judges are final.
  • Employees of the Ayn Rand Institute, its board of directors and their immediate family members are not eligible for this contest. Past first place winners are not eligible for this contest.
  • All entries become the property of the Ayn Rand Institute and will not be returned.
  • Winners, finalists, semifinalists and all other participants will be notified via e-mail and/or by mail by July 26, 2014.
  • Contest winners agree to allow the Ayn Rand Institute to post their names on any of ARI’s affiliated websites. The winning first place essay may be posted in its entirety on any of these websites with full credit given to the author.
  • Winners will be solely responsible for any federal, state or local taxes.
  • Submit your entry online

Or mail your essay with stapled cover sheet to:

We the Living Essay Contest

The Ayn Rand Institute

P.O. Box 57044

Irvine, CA 92619-7044

  •  Please do not submit duplicate essays!
  • If submitting your essay electronically, you will be sent an email confirming our receipt. If you have not received an e-mail notification within 24 hours, please e-mail If you are submitting by mail, please paperclip a stamped, self-addressed postcard to your essay and we will return it to you.


Comments or questions about the essay contests are welcome. Please write to


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