Edmonton spelling bee to test adults on tricky terms from pop culture

It's not your typical spelling bee.

But if you think you could rattle off the letters in "Targaryen" (one of the great houses of Westeros from Game of Thrones) or "Sectumsempra" (a Harry Potter spell), this may be the contest for you.

The Edmonton Public Library is hosting an adult spelling bee on Friday, Sept. 28, to kick off the second annual Capital City Press Festival.

Words for the bee have been selected from pop culture and literature — with an extra category for Edmonton-specific place names, which may have silent consonants or weird letter combinations lurking within.

The contest is open to anyone who comes early enough to sign up at the Whitemud Crossing Branch.

"I think it does take a special type of someone to stand up and spell in front of other people," Katherine Gibson, the EPL's library services co-ordinator, told CBC's Radio Active on Monday.

"It's someone who has a lot of confidence and is willing to put themselves out there. People can come and watch as well, and they don't have to be spelling to take part in the evening."

Alex Brandon/The Associated Press

The main prize for spelling your way through words like Quidditch (a game in Harry Potter) or Caernarvon (a north Edmonton neighbourhood) is bragging rights, although a gift certificate will also be up for grabs. The Capital City Press Festival continues on Saturday with local authors such as Billy-Ray Belcourt and Michael Hingston giving presentations.

Many other authors will be on panels or selling their books.

Last year's festival attracted about 300 people, Gibson said.

"It's about going up and meeting local authors," she said. "It's just finding the wealth of talent that's in Edmonton."