On Monday night (known across the land as the night before the election) the CLMP (Council of Literary Magazines and Presses) hosted its annual spelling bee fundraiser. The line-up of spellers showcased the spelling talents of some well known media types including Harper Collins’ Jonathan Burnham, the NYT‘s David
Carr, The New Yorker‘s Judith Thurman, Michael Musto from the Village Voice, and PW‘s Sara Nelson among others. The night was moderated by former Times Style Sectioner Bob Morris — sadly Alex Kuczynski was a last-minute no-show The Bee was held at Diane Von Furstenburg’s studio on west W 14th st, and in keeping with the theme all the words were related to fashion. It’s harder than you think!
Most of the pre Bee chatter appeared to revolve either around the next day’s election or everyone’s dependence on spell check, ourselves included. We fully admit to not being the best of spellers, and judging by how quickly the star line-up went down (“eyelet” was the first word to take someone out) we are not alone! Before being given his second word (crewelwork) David Carr took a moment to mention that his copy desk had had a good laugh that morning when they’d seen an invite to the event listing him as a “speller,” then he asked for a definition of crewelwork that didn’t include his job. Watch the video of what happened next after the jump. Oh yes, in the end Jonathan Burnham walked away triumphant after spelling “astigmatism” correctly.