For the Media

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 Scripps National Spelling Bee (93rd year)


A total of 562 spellers compete from all 50 U.S. states, several territories and other countries including the Bahamas, Canada, Germany, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan and South Korea. For the second year, spellers (292) invited through the RSVBee program also will compete alongside spellers (270) from sponsored regions. 


Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center located at 201 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, Maryland 20745 

Bee Week onsite resources
     o    Media Desk
     o    Media Avail on Wednesday to interview Paige Kimble, executive director of the Bee, Dr. Jacques Bailly, pronouncer, and Dr. Brian Sietsema, associate pronouncer
     o    Designated Media seating in Maryland Ballroom
     o    Media Work Room
     o    Media beverage/snack station
     o    Parking validation
     o    Designated Media Wi-Fi


Bee Week — May 24-29 (Competition is May 26-28)
Competition Schedule (subject to change): 

•    Tuesday, May 26 — Preliminaries multiple-choice test in the morning.
•    Tuesday, May 26 — Onstage spelling all day for Round Two 
•    Wednesday, May 27 — Onstage spelling all day for Round Three. Fans can see every word through the Watch ESPN App. At the end of Round Three, we will announce no more than 50 spellers who will advance to the Thursday Semifinals.

•    Wednesday, May 27 — Semifinalists take the Semifinals Test (30 question multiple-choice test in both spelling and vocabulary)

•    Thursday, May 28 — Semifinalists will spell onstage beginning at 10 a.m. and spell for three rounds (Rounds 5-7). ESPN2 will broadcast this portion of the competition. At the conclusion of Round Seven, the Bee will announce the spellers advancing to the Championship Finals by combining the scores from the Preliminaries and Semifinals Tests of the spellers remaining in the competition. The Bee will advance a maximum of 10 spellers to the Championship Finals.  

•    Thursday, May 28 — After a break, the Finalists take the stage again for the live broadcast on ESPN. The Bee will declare a Champion when a Finalist correctly spells in a one-word round or correctly spells 12 words in the Championship Finals, whichever comes first.  With the new end-of-bee rule, the Bee could declare co- or multiple Champions if there are two or more Finalists who correctly spell 12 words in the Championship Finals.  


Media Credentials:

Apply for media credentials at Look for the media tab on the home page. 


•    To obtain contact information and biographical information for the spellers you plan to cover — reach out directly to Valerie Miller.
•    During Bee Week, use for round-by-round reports.
•    The Bee Week app will be available again beginning in early May.
•    The Bee posts thousands of photos on our Flickr page that you can use during Bee Week — give photo credit to: Mark Bowen/Scripps National Spelling Bee.
•    Media contact for the Bee is Valerie Miller — | 513-545-6474 — reach out directly to arrange pre-Bee Week or Bee Week interviews with Paige Kimble, Dr. Jacques Bailly, Mary Brooks, past Champions and eventual 2020 Champion(s). 
•    For other Bee questions, please submit your request through our Contact Us feature on  

Resources for Journalists:

Photos of spellers:

  • Use the drop-down menu to sort the speller list found here - "Meet the Spellers" - by age, first/last name, grade or state. Once competition begins use the filters just above the photos to filter by grade, age, state/country and by what level of the competition each speller reached - Finalists, Spellers Continuing in Finals and Champion.

  • Download the pre-competition photos provided by the spellers with a right click on the speller you need. Use the "Save As" option to save a .png file. 

  • Once competition begins, we post thousands of photos to the Bee's Flickr account. The media is free to download those photos and publish. Use the search function in the top right corner.  Each photo will be tagged with “2020” and the number of any spellers in the photo. For example, if a photo features Speller 71, it will be tagged “2020speller71” (with no spaces). Photos must be credited to “Mark Bowen/Scripps National Spelling Bee.”

Fun facts: 

  • Total number of spellers - 562

  • Advanced by winning sponsored regional spelling bee - 255

  • Advanced through RSVBee program - 292

  • Sets of siblings competing together - 9 (Two sets of twins - one identical/one fraternal)

  • Number of returning spellers - 162

  • Spellers in their fifth appearance - 2 (#490 Naysa Modi and #141 Rebekah Zeigler)

  • Texas has the most representatives in the Bee with 69 spellers

  • Ages range from 7-15

  • The grade level with the largest number of spellers is eighth grade - 216 (38%)

  • Vast majority of spellers attend public schools - 65%