Scripps National Spelling Bee To Host 231 Spellers At 2023 Bee Week

The Scripps National Spelling Bee will welcome 231 spellers to National Harbor, Md., from May 30 to June 1 for the national rounds of its 95th competition since being founded in 1925.

The national qualifiers advanced through local and regional bees that took place through early April. All rounds of this year’s national competition — preliminaries, quarterfinals, semifinals and finals — will take place at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.

Highlights of the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee field:

  • The spellers range in age from 9 to 14.
  • Nearly 80% — 182 spellers — are competing in their first Scripps National Spelling Bee this year.
  • There are 41 spellers returning from the 2022 field and 49 spellers who have previously competed in the national competition.
  • Two are returning finalists from the 2022 national competition: Kirsten Tiffany Santos from Houston and Surya Kapu from Salt Lake City. They tied for fifth last year.
  • Akash Vukoti from San Angelo, Texas, is competing in the national competition for a record sixth time. Fourteen spellers are competing in their third Scripps National Spelling Bee.
  • There are spellers from all 50 states. Texas has the largest representation with 21 national competitors. Ohio and California rank second largest with 15 each, followed by Illinois with 14.
  • Eleven qualifiers are from outside the 50 United States, representing the Bahamas, Canada, Germany, Ghana, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico.

Find more information on the field of 2023 national competitors at

“Bee Week is a truly unforgettable experience, combining the thrill and accomplishment of onstage competition with the joy of making lifelong connections offstage,” said Corrie Loeffler, executive director of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

“This year, the Bee will continue its tradition of capturing hearts and inspiring big dreams with a refreshed look: We’ve updated our logo with a new design that’s both bold and playful – indicative of the Bee spirit at every level of competition. New, vibrant branding will be woven throughout the halls of the Gaylord and across the TV programming. Fans watching along at home will see some familiar faces featured on and this year’s broadcasts, celebrating what makes the Bee so captivating: our spellers.”


Bee Week 2023 also will include two dynamic author presentations for spellers and their families:

  • Jason Reynolds, 1 New York Times bestselling author and the Library of Congress’ national ambassador for young people’s literature.
  • Zaila Avant-garde, 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion and author of “It’s Not Bragging if it’s True.”

The Bee on Scripps Networks: (All times Eastern)
The Bee will again air on Ion and Bounce this year after a successful 2022 premiere on Scripps’ national networks. In the first year on its new TV home, Bee programming was seen by 7.5 million viewers, and the live finals drew its largest television audience since 2015 as millions tuned in to watch Harini Logan, a 14-year-old speller from San Antonio, Texas, take home the Scripps Cup in the competition’s first-ever spell-off.

The 2023 broadcast/livestream of onstage spelling follows this schedule (all times Eastern):

  • The preliminaries will be streamed on Ion Plus, Bounce XL and from 9 a.m. to 7:25 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30.
  • The quarterfinals will be streamed on Ion Plus, Bounce XL and from 8 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31.
  • The semifinals will be streamed on Ion Plus, Bounce XL and from 2:30-6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31. A special semifinals broadcast will air on Ion and Bounce later that evening from 8-10 p.m.
  • The finals will air live in primetime on Ion and Bounce from 8-10 p.m. on Thursday, June 1.

In addition to Ion and Bounce, the semifinals and finals will also air on Scripps’ national diginets Defy TV, Grit, Ion Mystery and Laff. A rebroadcast of the finals will be available on Scripps News on June 2 from 9-11 p.m. and again June 3 from 8-10 p.m. The Scripps Networks can be found free over-the-air as well as on cable, satellite and streaming platforms.

The 2023 Bee also will celebrate three special recognitions:

  • 2023 Educator of the Year, presented by SugarBee Apple: Gina Calhoun, an eighth-grade teacher at Ashe County Middle School in Warrensville, North Carolina. Calhoun has served as the school’s spelling bee coordinator for the past eight years.
  • 2023 Regional Partner of the Year: Ruth Keim, coordinator for regional partner WITF Public Media, a Pennsylvania PBS affiliate. Keim has developed central Pennsylvania’s spelling bee program over the past 26 years.
  • 2023 Regional Volunteer of the Year: Daniel Notman, volunteer pronouncer for the Central Texas regional spelling bee organized by Rapoport Holdings, LLC. Notman is a project manager in the office of the president of Baylor University.

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