Winning tips to become the next 'Spellebrity'

Posted at 1:36 PM, Dec 09, 2016

Don’t let your kids utter those two dreaded words during their holiday break: “I’m bored.”

Instead of turning on a video, challenge your children and their friends to create a video that could win them a trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee this spring.

Spellebrity details

The Spellebrity Video Contest is a competition that asks “individuals or teams of up to four people in grades 1 through 8 to brainstorm, film and edit a video of up to five minutes in length that inspires other students to want to read,” according to

Ten semifinalists will be chosen from the entries to win a Kindle Paperwhite E-reader. From there, the five winning teams will be selected by a public vote and will win a trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, sponsored by Kindle, and the first-place team will also win $1,000 cash and a trophy for each team member.

Enter the contest

Videos should showcase students' mastery of the English language through storytelling that answers the question “How can you Kindle the love of reading?” and includes three words that would be good to know for the spelling bee.

From there, 2016 Spellebrity winner Mary Noorlander said, creativity is key.

“Be creative with it, and have fun with it because, in the end, it’s about being creative,” she said. “If you use your own ideas or something that you really thought through, you’ll have more fun, and I think that’ll make for a better video.”

Once all videos are complete, the public will have a chance to vote for their favorites. For more information on entering, visit



Take a cue from 2016’s winner

Mary opened her winning video by talking about her love of reading, sparked at a young age and encouraged with the help of a Kindle.

“When I was 10, I used to use my dad’s Kindle when I waited for him at work,” she said.

Mary still reads on her Kindle and used it in her video by reading from it in the voices of several well-known literary characters. She also studied for the spelling bee by downloading spelling apps, and she displays her vocabulary in her video with definitions of the words she chose that would be good to know for the spelling bee.

Your children can take advantage of aKindle when creating videos with several features that help improve reading: When reading with Word Wise, users can tap difficult words to see definitions, synonyms and more. Vocabulary Builder automatically takes words users look up and creates flashcards with definitions and word usage examples.

“Take some time to appreciate the actual spelling bee and the words,” Mary said. “The video is about reading and words and all that great stuff and the whole spelling bee, and the whole purpose of that is to appreciate words.”

That appreciation will make contestants’ videos relevant and meaningful, she said. Additionally, they can watch videos from past competitions while looking forward to the next one.

“Watch the spelling bee because it’s really fun,” Mary said. “I watched all the rounds when I went, and I would love to go again. I would watch the Bee, if you get a chance to go, and take advantage of all those opportunities.”