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Fountainhead Essay Contest

Preparing For A Fountainhead Essay Contest

The Fountainhead essay contest is organized by the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), a nonprofit organization based in California. The Fountainhead, published in 1943, is a bestseller written by Ayn Rand. More than 5 million copies have been sold worldwide.  It became so popular that it was translated into many different languages. The Ayn Rand Institute was formed by people who were inspired by her books. They chose to encourage researchers and students motivated by Ayn Rand’s work. Her other book Atlas Shrugged also became a big hit.

The institute has around 35 employees who work to inspire young teenagers in the 11th and 12th grades to enter the contest. In 2010, entrants were asked to choose a topic based on The Fountainhead. They were offered three topics. One such topic was to choose the scene that was most meaningful to the entrant and to analyze it in context to other themes in the book. The contest is a strong motivator and has encouraged many to read the book.

Howard Roark, a young and artistic architect, has to work in anonymity to purse his vision. He is shown to be a promoter of modern architecture, which the public fail to understand. Howard is a man of integrity and way ahead of his time. Others who are associated with him either support or oppose him. He is a good example of how the human spirit can spur individuals to attain great heights even though it is a struggle trying to overcome the vast majority trying to oppose him. The vivid picture of this struggle painted by Ayn Rand can be elaborated in a literature essay.

A Fountainhead essay contest is judged both on the literary aspect and content included. Assessors would look for an essay that offers clarity in the ideas presented. The book is philosophical in nature, and the contest entrants must have a clear idea of the meaning being conveyed through the book. The submissions go through four rounds of unbiased and fair assessment by judges chosen by the Ayn Rand Institute. The assessors are not exposed to names of the entrants until all four rounds are complete and the results finalized. Plagiarism is checked using sophisticated software to ensure original work.

There are some important rules entrants have to be aware of.

  • The book essay is open to students from across the globe. There is no need to submit an application. The essay has to be submitted in a separate sheet, either online or posted, along with a covering letter with the entrant’s name, address, email address, grade, and teacher’s name if the essay would be completed as a school assignment.
  • Only one entry is permitted per student and has to be between 800 and 1,600 double-spaced words.
  • Students have to post the essay before a deadline. For example, in 2010, the last date for accepting entries ended on April 26, 2010 at 11:59 PM, Pacific Standard Time.
  • The finalists and winners of The Fountainhead essay contest would be notified via e-mail and/or by mail.