Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest Pays $24,000 in Prizes
January 7, 2009
IRVINE, CA--University of California Los Angeles undergraduate Robert Sanders, from San Jose, CA, is the winner of the Ayn Rand Institute’s annual “Atlas Shrugged” essay contest, for which he received a prize of $10,000.
Open to 12th graders and both undergraduate- and graduate-level college students, the “Atlas Shrugged” essay contest requires contestants to write on one of several topics dealing with the characters and themes in the novel. The contest is designed to promote critical thinking and writing skills. Essays are judged on both style and content.
With 1,917 contestants, 2008 was the most competitive year in the contest’s history. The previous record was 1,647 contestants in 2003.
The following students have won this year’s second and third prizes:
Second-prize winners ($2,000):
Gregory Arney, Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA
Ryan Krause, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Margaret Wray, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Third-prize winners ($1,000):
Abigail Chernick, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA
Cadmus Kyrala, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Melanie Martin, University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA
Ryan Menezes, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Tay Tufenkjian, George Washington University, Washington, DC
The contest also awards 20 finalists ($100) and 20 semi-finalists ($50). A complete list of winners and a copy of the first-prize essay can be read online at the Ayn Rand Institute's website.
First published in 1957, “Atlas Shrugged” is a mystery story about the murder--and rebirth--of man’s spirit. It offers the spectacle of human greatness through the astounding story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world--and did.
Since 1999 about 10,000 college students from around the world have entered ARI’s “Atlas Shrugged” essay contest. This year more than 1,400 students submitted their essays, and the winners were awarded a total of $24,000.
Information about next year’s competition, which again offers a $10,000 first prize, is now available online.