Adult Spelling Bee

This event has passed.
August 23, 2013 @ 7:00 pm
August 23, 2013 @ 9:00 pm
The Program in the Humanities and Human Values
Flyleaf Books
(919) 942-7373
752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd (Historic Airport Rd)
Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States


The Program in the Humanities and Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill will together be holding their first ever Adult Spelling Bee on August 23. Part variety show, part serious inquiry into the public’s orthography skills, and mostly just a fun time, this event will be the first of many events mixing entertainment with just a modicum of scholarly endeavor. Anyone can take part and teams are welcome — no pre-registration required. Admission is $5.00.

All attendees are welcome to participate as individuals or as a team, and contestants will be drawn by lot. There will be two contests, one traditional individual competition, and one relaxed team competition. Since we’re all adults, we will be starting with difficult words and progressing to impossible words!

Individual competition:

  • Interested competitors must place their name in the drawing immediately upon payment of entrance fee
  • Ten competitors will be drawn from lot
  • No electronic devices may be brought to the stage
  • Contest is single-error elimination
  • Contestants will have one minute to spell each word. Failure to finish in one minute will lead to elimination
  • Last person standing is the winner
  • Prizes will be awarded for first, second, and third place finishes
  • Judges may not know what they’re doing

Team and Variety Competition (time permitting)

  • Teams of up to 5 competitors (but no fewer than 3) will be allowed
  • Teams must place their names in the drawing for teams immediately before 8 p.m.
  • Teams will compete in a variety of contests (subject to change)
    • Spell one word letter-by-letter cycling through individual team members (no cooperating!)
    • Use the word in a sentence challenge (judged qualitatively for creativity)
    • Audience challenge words (from team to team)

Have a word you’d like to challenge us with? Bring words with definitions, correct spelling, and your name on a 3 x 5 index card and place it in the word box upon entry.

Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase. Be prepared to show identification.

This event will employ a tongue-in-cheek philosophy and a heavy dose of goofiness: you have been warned.

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

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