Competing in the national finals is an impressive accomplishment. For our champion spellers and your families, there is so much information to process in planning your trip to National Harbor, Maryland. The most complete information is available by logging in with your speller credentials by clicking "Login" in the upper right corner of this page. The information below covers some of your most common questions. 

What is the schedule for Bee Week?

May 27
May 28
May 29
May 30
May 31
June 1
June 2
Arrive at
3-7 p.m.
11:30 a.m. 
7 p.m. 
8 a.m. 
Round Two
9:15 a.m. -
5:20 p.m.
Merriam-Webster Presentation
7 p.m.
Round Three
8 a.m. - 
5 p.m.
of Finalists
~5:10 p.m.
Guest Speaker
Leland Melvin
7:30 p.m.
10 a.m.
8 p.m.
7 p.m.
10 p.m. - 
for Return
Trip Home


How do we book our hotel?

  • In the upper right corner of this page, click "Login." 

  • Use your unique login credentials to access the champion checklist. 

  • Complete your Champion Registration form (if box is checked, you are done with this step!).

  • In the right column of the champion checklist, click "Make Bee Week Reservations" to see your registration summary.

  • Click the bottom left yellow "Book Hotel Room" button to reserve a hotel room at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.

  • Or click "Modify My Registration" to add more people for your group and/or purchase additional event tickets (Memorial Day BBQ and Awards Banquet), if desired.

We have a block of rooms available at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, the home of the competition. The Bee rate is $314.78/night (includes room, tax and resort fee). To get the discounted rate and guarantee a room, the deadline to reserve a room is April 23. This rate, and access to the Bee room block, is available only through the "Make Bee Week Reservations" link mentioned above. You will not be able to access the Bee's hotel room block by calling Gaylord directly. 

Can families arrive late/depart early?

You can arrive and depart at the time of your choice. If, however, your child is not present for the Preliminaries Test and Round Two on Tuesday, May 29, and any other subsequent portions of the competition for which they qualify, they will not be able to compete. Also, we highly recommend your child be present for the Opening Ceremony at 7 p.m. Eastern on Monday, May 28, as this is when spellers hear important competition instructions from Bee officials.

What are the suggested study resources?

Each speller's Round Two vocabulary question on the Preliminaries Test, administered May 29, and each speller’s Round Two spelling word, given onstage on May 29, will be selected from the Round Two Study Guide. It is available when you log into Click “Use Our Study Resources” on the champion checklist.  

The only complete study resource for Preliminaries Test Round One spelling and vocabulary questions, the Round Three vocabulary question and all words given in Rounds Three and higher onstage is the Bee’s official reference, Merriam-Webster Unabridged online. All spellers participating in the national finals receive a free one-year subscription to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged online. You should have received an email on April 10 with an access code for this benefit. Check your Spam or Clutter if you didn’t receive it.

How do spellers get their prizes?

All national finalists receive the following:

  • Samuel Louis Sugarman Award

  • One-year subscription to Merriam-Webster Unabridged online 

If you won a regional bee, you should have received the Sugarman certificate and Merriam-Webster certificate from your sponsor. If you qualified for the national finals through the RSVBee program, we emailed the code good for a free one-year subscription to Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online on Tuesday, April 10. You will receive your Sugarman award by June 30, 2018. 

Can we swap tickets for events?

Each speller is allotted two tickets for the Memorial Day BBQ and Awards Banquet and three tickets for the Thursday primetime Finals. Parents must reserve all tickets by May 4. For the tickets provided, one is for the speller and the other one or two are for parents or guardians. 
Parents can purchase additional tickets for the BBQ and Banquet for $100 each. Due to the limited space in the Maryland Ballroom, there are no additional tickets available for the Thursday primetime Finals.
There is a ticket exchange board next to the Speller & Sponsor Desk. That is a self-service, parent-driven message board. The Bee does not manage or coordinate this. The ticket exchange board is a place for parents to communicate their interests in securing additional tickets or to offer tickets they no longer need.