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The Fountainhead Essay Contest Information

Eligibility: 11th and 12th Graders

Entry Deadline: April 26, 2011

FIRST PRIZE: $10,000
5 SECOND PRIZES: $2,000
10 THIRD PRIZES: $1,000
45 FINALISTS: $100
175 SEMIFINALISTS: $50

The Fountainhead cover

Topics

Select ONE of the following three topics:

  1. After the Stoddard trial, Dominique Francon marries Peter Keating. Given her love for the integrity of Howard Roark’s buildings and person, why does she do this? What is she seeking from the marriage? How does her action of marrying Peter relate to her deeper convictions and conflicts?
  2. In dynamiting Cortlandt Homes, Howard Roark breaks the law. What is his moral and philosophical argument for the rectitude of his action?
  3. Choose the scene in The Fountainhead that is most meaningful to you. Analyze that scene in terms of the wider themes in the book.

Judging

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 The Fountainhead.

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.

Rules

  • No application is required. Contest is open to students worldwide.
  • Entrant must be in the 11th or 12th grade.
  • 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 800 and no more than 1,600 words in length and double-spaced.

For more information: http://essaycontest.aynrandnovels.com/TheFountainhead.aspx?theme=blue

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2011 Sylvia K Burack Writing Award

The Sylvia K. Burack Writing Award is a writing contest for high school students in grades 11 and 12 in the U.S. and Canada. The award is made in memory of Sylvia K. Burack, longtime editor and publisher of The Writer. Burack was known for her dedication to helping writers and editors.

The winning writer will receive:

 

• $500
• Publication in The Writer magazine and on WriterMag.com
• A one-year subscription to The Writer
• A copy of the Gotham Writers’ Workshop anthology Fiction GallerySubmission: To enter, submit a previously unpublished 600- to 800-word personal essay in English on the following topic: “Select a work of fiction, poem or play that has influenced you. Discuss the work and explain how it affected you.” No song lyrics. For essay writing tips, visit WriterMag.com.

Eligibility:

You must be a student in grade 11 or 12 attending a U.S. or Canadian high school at the time you submit the essay. The winner will be asked to provide proof of enrollment in grade 11 or 12 in a U.S. or Canadian high school. Employees of The Writer, Kalmbach Publishing Co. and Gotham Writers’ Workshop and their families are not eligible to participate.

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The Blue Pencil Online, the magazine edited and produced by students in the Writing and Publishing Program at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts, offers the Elizabeth Bishop Prize, a unique prize of a $15,000 scholarship to the school for the best piece of writing in fiction, verse, or playwriting submitted to the magazine.  For those in grades 8-11.  (Student must apply and be accepted to the school to receive the scholarship.)

Deadline: Submissions made to the magazine between October 1, 2010 and February 1, 2011, will be considered.

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Myths

One way to get an idea for a story is to look at the classics and see if you can retell that story in a different time period, or to use those characters in a new way.

Think about it. Cinderella has been told a thousand times. And the Percy Jackson series is based on the Greek gods. Meg Cabot’s story Avalon High is a contemporized version of the legend of Arthur, Camelot, and Avalon.

Here’s a link to a site that has lots of information about Greek, Celtic, Norse, and other myths.

Perhaps reading through them will get your creative juices flowing!

Timeless Myths:  http://www.timelessmyths.com/

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Are You Ready to Write?

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NaNoWriMo (that’s National Novel Writing Month) starts November 1.  If you want to try your hand at a novel, (or at least start a novel, here’s a great chance.  For those over 13 who sign up for the adult program, your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to write 50,000 words in the month of November.  (That is A LOT of words!)

Anyone under 13, or between 13 and 17 but doesn’t want to commit to writing 50,000 words,  can participate in the Young Writers Program and set your own goal.

No editing allowed, just write, write, write.  It’s lots of fun, and I can promise you’ll up your word output.

Here’s the link for anyone under 13, or anyone 13 to 17 who wants to set their own goal.  http://ywp.nanowrimo.org/

Here’s the link for NaNoWriMo for those over 13 who want to commit to write (or attempt to write) 50,000 words.  http://www.nanowrimo.org/

 

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logo

NaNoWriMo (that’s National Novel Writing Month) starts November 1.  If you want to try your hand at a novel, (or at least start a novel, here’s a great chance.  For those over 13 who sign up for the adult program, your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to write 50,000 words in the month of November.  (That is A LOT of words!)

Anyone under 13, or between 13 and 17 but doesn’t want to commit to writing 50,000 words,  can participate in the Young Writers Program and set your own goal.

No editing allowed, just write, write, write.  It’s lots of fun, and I can promise you’ll up your word output.

Here’s the link for anyone under 13, or anyone 13 to 17 who wants to set their own goal.  http://ywp.nanowrimo.org/

Here’s the link for NaNoWriMo for those over 13 who want to commit to write (or attempt to write) 50,000 words.  http://www.nanowrimo.org/

 

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Split Personality #2When characters do the unlikely, impossible, or uncomfortable, they’re called Contorting Characters.

Characters often contort when you create compound sentences.  Sometimes the contortions aren’t horrible, and the reader will probably understand what the writer intended.

For instance, Jim walked across the room and looked out the door. By using and, it’s implied that Jim was looking out the door at the same time he crossed the room, which is certainly possible, but perhaps not what the author intended.  At best, it’s unclear, since the author could have meant that Jim crossed the room TO look out the door, or crossed the room and THEN looked out the door.

AND implies things occur at the same time.

TO and THEN imply a chronological order to events.

In our example about Jim, it probably isn’t a big deal if the reader misconstrues our meaning.  After all, whether Jim looks out the door as he’s walking, after he’s walking, or is walking across the room with the purpose of looking out the door may not make that much difference.

Sometimes, however, authors can have their characters doing the impossible.

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