The National Young Writers Festival Spelling Bee is a brutal contest steeped in tradition. Throughout its esteemed two-year history, the Spelling Bee has become a byword for naked aggression, for raw bleeding humanity, for the ultimate arena in which courage is tested. Hopefuls hurl themselves against the grinding-plates of French vowel constructions, find themselves done in by the dastardly ‘i before e’ lie.
In its inaugural edition, it was my good fortune to take home the prize, a globe of the world studded with real live fake bees, on the back to the word ‘sequacious’. The following year saw me fall foul of the extra L in ‘beryllium’, before one of the previous year’s late-stage contenders in Garth Hughes-Odgers took the title. This year we shall both be in the building, with the ever-expanding line-up of hopefuls, and I will attempt to live-blog the experience for you.
Crossword-maker Mark Sutton has compiled this year’s word list – no downloaded compendium here, but a hand-picked listing of the most deceptive words the man can find. Bear with me – the Bee starts at 4.