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April 28, 2023 at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill from 7:00-8:30pm

Spelling fun for grownups is back! There will be a Grand Prize for on-stage contestants and plenty of chances for all to test their orthographical skills. Featuring celebrity judges and special guests.

Free & open to the public

Our spelling bees employ a tongue-in-cheek philosophy: you have been warned not to take this too seriously!

Want to test you spelling skills? Signup form will be available shortly.

If you have questions please write Dr. Max Owre, Executive Director, at


Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the contest starts at 7:00. If you would like to compete in the bee, register ahead of time. Remaining open spots will be filled by random drawing at the venue, but be sure to arrive before 7 if you’d like a chance to compete!

All attendees are welcome to participate as individuals, and all contestants will be drawn by lot  should more than 15 people pre-register, or if we do not have enough pre-registrants and need to pull from the audience (WARNING! We will have 15 competitors).

Individual competition (traditional spelling bee):

  • Interested competitors must complete the registration form (available soon!)
  • Fifteen competitors will be announced 6:45 pm
  • No electronic devices may be brought to the stage
  • Contest is single-error elimination
  • Contestants will have approximately one minute with each word, of which 30 seconds is timed
    • The judge will read the word, give its definition, then use it in a sentence
    • Once the judge finishes, the timer will put 30 seconds on the clock
    • During this time, the contestant may ask the judges for derivation
    • If contestants are in the middle of spelling at the end of 30 seconds, they will be allowed to finish at judge’s discretion
    • Failure to start spelling at the end of 30 seconds will lead to elimination.
    • Last person standing is the winner
  • Prizes will be awarded to all contestants, with a grand prize going to the champion
  • Judges may not know what they’re doing…but they’re getting better!