Thirty-five thousand dollars in prize money has been awarded to 47 winners of this year’s Fountainhead and Anthem essay contests. More than 7,200 students entered the contests; the seventh annual Anthem contest received more than 3,900 entries from freshmen and sophomore students, and more than 3,300 juniors and seniors entered the fourteenth annual Fountainhead contest.
ARI received the second highest number of Anthem entries since the contest began and the same number of Fountainhead entries as last year. In addition, many students who did not enter the contest learned of Ayn Rand’s novels, and many teachers who chose not to promote the contest to their classes this year nonetheless became aware of it because of the promotion.
Boleslaw Kabala, a senior at the Groton School in Groton, Massachusetts, won the $10,000 Fountainhead first prize. He entered the contest after seeing one of ARI’s fliers and discussing the contest and Ayn Rand’s ideas with friends who had read Miss Rand’s work. Kabala had read Leonard Peikoff’s book The Ominous Parallels prior to discovering the contest and was “trying to apply those ideas to the world that I saw on the news.” Kabala will be attending Harvard in the fall. His present academic interests include history, philosophy, and political science.
Joseph Saba, a freshman at Hanover Area High School in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, won the $1,000 Anthem first prize. He was assigned the book by his English teacher, and it was the first novel by Ayn Rand that he had read. He intends to major in English or journalism in college and is planning to read The Fountainhead.
Students entered this year’s contest from countries around the world, including Canada, India, New Zealand, Korea, Japan and Russia. A high school student in India won a third prize in the Fountainhead contest.