American BeeNPR coverage of American Bee: The National Spelling Bee And the Culture Of Word Nerds: The Lives Of Five Top Spellers As They Compete For Glory And Fame by James Maguire. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.
A narrative portrait of the America's national spelling bee competition offers insight into its subculture of young wordsmiths, competitive parents, and spectator tension, sharing the stories of five top contestants to offer insight into their ambitions and winning strategies.
Karla Miller competed in the national bees of 1984, 1985 and 1986. Her best finish was 31st, when she went out on the word "dashiki." Today, Miller is a writer and editor. At right, a recent snapshot of Miller and her daughter.