So You Think You Can Spell?
Emily Seftel won the first-ever “So You Think You Can Spell” contest at the Library. Elizabeth Taft placed second while Marie Keem finished third.
Thirteen adult spellers participated in the spelling bee contest, held on 6 June. The event was organized by the Paris Spelling Bee team in collaboration with the Library.
“We’ve been talking about holding a spelling bee for adults for years and it’s great to see it finally take off,” said Helen Sahin Connelly, coordinator of the Paris Spelling Bee (PSB) and founder of Gifted in France, a non-profit association.
All three spellers said they had participated in bees when they were in middle and grade school. Asked why she signed up for the “So You Think You Can Spell” contest, Seftel said, “it’s probably because I lost a regional spelling bee in eighth grade and I saw this as a chance to redeem myself.” She added, “it’s hard to resist an event that brings together people who care deeply about words.”
Second-place finisher Elizabeth, a student at Wellesley College, recently arrived in Paris to do a summer internship at the Library. “I thought it would be a great way to meet people involved at the Library and just a lot of fun,” she said.
PSB and the Library also organize the Paris Spelling Bee for children in grades CE1-6éme. The event usually attracts more than 100 students from dozens of schools in and around Paris. Special thanks to the amazing bee team: Jude Smith Matisse, Naida Culshaw, Karen Simpson, Ashley Miller, Jenny Bateman-Irish, Barbara Ginsbach, along with volunteers, Kirsty McCulloch Reid, Clarence Tokley, Jan and Scott Smith, Laetitia Nail, and Julia Connelly.