Dear Reader,

Can you spell C-H-A-M-P-I-O-N? If your answer was yes, you already know one thing about the winner of next week’s spelling bee.

The Columbia Missourian will host its third annual spelling bee starting at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in Jesse Auditorium. As a sponsor for the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the Missourian will send the winner of its regional bee to the national competition, which will begin May 24 in Washington, D.C.

There will be 49 participants competing in this year’s bee. In order to qualify, the contestants must have won the spelling bee held at the schools they attend. You can see all the school champions in Friday’s print edition.

On the day of the Bee, spellers will spell words aloud in ongoing rounds of words until there is one speller left. That person will be the champion of the bee.

Last year’s winner, Neha Kodali, won after correctly spelling the word “smudginess.” The competition lasted 40 rounds.

The Missourian appreciates the support from businesses and community organizations that help make this event possible. In collaboration with KBIA/91.3 FM, Kyle Felling will be joining us as pronouncer.

With a larger venue this year, we invite the community to celebrate these students and enjoy the fun of a live spelling bee.

Note that because of a new rule from Scripps, this year’s Bee will not be available via livestream.

Find out more about the event by visiting our event page on Facebook. If you have additional questions, contact Spelling Bee Coordinator Elizabeth Stephens at

  • Missourian director of community outreach and assistant professor at the Missouri School of Journalism

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