Lit Fest Virtual Spelling Bee FAQ

What’s the deal with this Lit Fest Virtual Spelling Bee?

The Spelling Bee, hosted by the creators of the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, is not your traditional spelling bee! It will take place on Zoom and stream on YouTube on June 12, 2021, at 6:00 PM MDT.

The Lit Fest Virtual Spelling Bee is a Lighthouse fundraiser that will feature 8-10 spellers. They will compete through several rounds to become the champ, and they’ll each have teams behind them who can assist and cheer them on. And the judges will mix it up by allowing players to cheat, bringing in games and special twists, and more. Even better, you’ll be supporting the literary arts as you participate!

Sign up here to be a speller and set up a team (or maybe you’re pro-level and already have one, complete with uniforms). You can also join an existing team that’s looking for some new members using the same form.

Wait, there are teams? 

Yep! Each team can have up to 10 people on it, but you’ll only have one Speller (think of them like your team captain). The other teammates will be on Zoom during the event to help out your Speller in a pinch. You’ll also fundraise together.

So I don’t have to spell if I don’t want to? 

Definitely not. You can create a team or join an existing one as a supportive teammate. Your spelling skills don’t have to factor in at all!

How does fundraising play into this? 

You might have heard that Lighthouse Writers Workshop is a nonprofit organization. We have free community programs for people of all ages and walks of life, and we offer tuition assistance to those experiencing financial hardship. We need help supporting these important programs! 

With that in mind, we ask each team to set a goal of raising at least $2,500 per team. Every dollar makes a difference in helping Lighthouse support youth and adults from underserved or marginalized communities as they find their voice through writing. 

Plus, your fundraising total matters for your team! With the money you raise, you’ll be able to buy “cheats” that will increase your odds of staying in the game. 

My team can cheat? What does that mean? 

The judges will tell you more on the day of the Spelling Bee, but your fundraising can help you go further in the game! You’ll be able to buy cheats such as a one-letter hint for the word you’re spelling, permission to ask your team for help, spelling five easy words instead of one difficult one, and (if you’re on the team that raised the most money) the ability to “reanimate” yourself if you get a word wrong and want to come back in!

I don’t have $2,500. Can I still participate? 

Absolutely! No individual person is required to give $2,500, or even $5 for that matter. What you do have to do is work with your team to meet your fundraising goal as a group.

Okay, so how on earth do I fundraise? 

Lighthouse staff will guide you! Think of it the way you might fundraise for a 5K or walkathon for charity. Your team will create a page on Colorado Gives to support Lighthouse, and set the goal at $2,500. You can then donate yourselves, send it out to friends and family, ask your company for matching donations… whatever you’d like! Once you’ve registered your team, you’ll receive a guide with instructions on setting up your page, some tips, and even sample emails and social media posts, so you don’t have to start from scratch. We’ll also be available to answer questions and help you brainstorm as you go. 

This is a lot of information. Is there a beautiful slide deck somewhere where I can learn more? 

Of course! Our hosts, the Spelling Bee Company, have created a very detailed guide for Spellers and their teammates on how it all works. You can check it out here.

I’m in! How do I sign up, again? 

Sign up here to be a speller and set up a team. You can also join an existing team that’s looking for additional members using the same form.

What is the deadline to start or join a team?

To make sure you have time to fundraise, we highly encourage you to sign up by May 15. Please keep in mind that we can only accommodate up to 10 teams, and will fill up the slots on a first come, first served basis. 

I have no interest in participating, but I’d love to watch. How do I do that? 

You can join in the fun without being a contestant: The entire event will be live-streamed on YouTube. Register here for the watch party. 

I still have questions! Who do I contact? 

For any question, big or small, feel free to reach out to our development director, Jordyn Wolking at [email protected]