115 Empire Street
Providence, RI 02903
The words start easy: wisdom, relish, and antler kicked off the 2013 Spelling Bee at AS220, but as the words got more challenging the thirty spellers began to falter. Particle, corral, and geriatric stumped nervous spellers in round 1, but by the end the last spellers standing struggled with brazilette, reseda and anseriform. Mark Sawtelle of Providence finally won the competition, after runner-up Benjamin Legg stumbled on punaise.
The competition, which ended after midnight, is an annual benefit for Providence-based literary events organization Not About The Buildings. The 2014 edition of the Bee will return to AS220 on Friday, October 17th. The competition begins at 9pm, although spellers are advised to arrive by 8:30 to guarantee a shot at the crown. It’s $7 to spell but free to watch, so spellers are encouraged to bring their own cheering sections. Audience members have the opportunity to win their own prizes over the course of the evening.
Founded by local writer Matthew Lawrence, Not About The Buildings promotes literary culture in local libraries, bookstores, and arts venues. In the past year Not About The Buildings has co-produced memoir-writing workshops at the Providence Athenaeum, marathon readings of very short novels at a west side gallery, and an all-ages diorama book report contest at Rochambeau Library.
Joining Lawrence on stage will be Kath Connolly, who will read definitions, and AS220’s own JP Reader, whose judgment will determine whether spellers will advance to the next round.