News from Leonard Peikoff

Ayn Rand Center's picture
Submitted by Ayn Rand Center on Wed, 2013-06-26 21:34

June 25, 2013

Dear Admirer of Ayn Rand:

Once every three weeks starting September 13, 2013, Dr. Leonard Peikoff will offer, by telephone, a new 15-lecture course: Writing for an Audience. The course is designed for anyone who wants to improve his ability to present general (not technical) ideas persuasively to an uninformed or unsympathetic audience—e.g.: to explain the trouble with Republicans, in a Republican magazine; or explain the virtue of selfishness, to a conventional family; or explain why philosophy is important, to high school freshmen. The only cognitive prerequisite is familiarity with Ayn Rand’s two major novels, along with some understanding of her ideas.

In each 90-minute class, one student’s paper will be analyzed in a direct discussion between the writer and Dr. Peikoff. The other students will receive a copy of each paper in advance and will thus have the opportunity to learn from Peikoff’s unique insights, even though the paper is not their own. Time permitting, questions or comments from these other students are possible.

Peikoff will analyze—praise and/or correct—each paper line by line, according to his own guiding nine criteria, ranging from Clarity and Logical Structure to Emotive Tone and Proper Emphasis. A two-hour lecture explaining these criteria, already recorded, will constitute the first lecture; the next 14, by Peikoff live, complete the course. At some subsequent point, Peikoff plans to offer a more advanced follow-up course.

The classes will be held every three weeks on Friday afternoons, from 2:30–4 p.m. PST (excluding a holiday break).

The fee for the present course’s 15 classes is $300. Please note that, since space is limited, we can accommodate only 115 students. We must therefore select from those interested the most promising writers; then, from these, we will select for class discussion the 14 whom Peikoff thinks the most suitable for his analytic purpose. There is no charge for applicants who are not accepted into the 115.

To enable us to make our selection, we ask for a brief—300–400 words—writing sample of yours. For us to start the course on time, all samples must be received by July 26; no applicants can be considered after that date. For us to abstract writing ability from subject matter, all writers are asked to address the same topic. The topic we have chosen is: “Why I like The Fountainhead.” Be sure to remove from your paper any information that would reveal your identity; to be objective, our reviewers must judge exclusively by the paper itself.

Please submit your writing sample with a cover sheet that includes your name, field or profession (grade level through grad school if you are a student), mailing address, email address and phone number. Writing samples should be sent as attachments to You will receive our response on or before September 10, 2013. Thereafter, those accepted will be asked their age bracket.

Good luck! We look forward to hearing from you and reading your writing. If you have any questions, please write to or visit Writing for an Audience.

Yaron Brook
Executive Director
Ayn Rand Institute

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