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Washington State University
Scholarship Details

Atlas Shrugged Essay Competition


  • Available to 12th Graders, College Undergraduates, and Graduate Students
  • No application is required. Contest is open to students worldwide, except where void or prohibited by law. Essays must be written in English only.

More Details

All applications must be submitted by 11:59pm PST on May 15, 2018.

How to Submit

  • Write an essay (between 800 and 1,600 words) on one of the following topics:
    • An important early event in the novel is the destruction of the Phoenix-Durango. What factors make its destruction possible? How does this issue relate to the meaning and theme of Atlas Shrugged? In your answer, consider what Rand has to say in her 1962 essay “The Pull Peddlers.”
    • Capitalism’s defenders usually appeal to the “public good” as the moral justification of capitalism. Contrast this approach to defending capitalism with Ayn Rand’s approach in Atlas Shrugged. In your answer, consider what Rand has to say in her 1965 essay “What is Capitalism?”
    • Francisco d’Anconia and his teacher, Hugh Akston, advise more than once: “Check your premises,” because contradictions do not exist. Identify at least two major apparent contradictions that the heroes of Atlas Shrugged encounter, and explain, with reference to the novel, what premises they need to check and correct in order for them to understand that these “contradictions” do not exist.

The application and submission guidelines can be found on the scholarship’s website.

Deadline: 05/15/2018

Amount: $50-10,000

Paper Application Available

Online Application Available

Contact information: