Robbie Harold Is Kellogg-Hubbard Library Spelling Bee Champ

by Nat Frothingham

How do you spell the word Chlamydia?

Just ask Montpelier writer Robbie Harold, who spelled C-H-L-A-M-Y-D-I-A to become the winner of the Second Annual Cabin Fever Spelling Bee at Kellogg-Hubbard Library on Saturday evening, February 15.

Now, what, pray tell, is Chlamydia? As defined by the Webster’s online dictionary, Chlamydia is “any of a genus Chlamydia of spherical gram-negative intracellular bacteria . . .”—let’s jump out of this canoe right now.

This year’s Kellogg-Hubbard spelling bee was divided into two teams: local published writers (18 of them) and readers chosen by lot. According to Harold, the readers turned in a great performance, and reader Emily Tredeau “was a tough competitor.”

About her writing career, Harold said, “I write novels, short fiction, poetry and a variety of nonfiction. My first novel, a historical mystery named Heron Island, set in Vermont and New York City in 1903, came out in 2010. Its sequel, Murdered Sleep, set in Washington, D.C., in 1906, will be out in late spring or early summer of this year. Both feature private security agent Dade Wyatt, a Shakespearean actor and former Rough Rider. Next project is up in the air at present but will likely be historical literary fiction. My poem “Later Sargent” placed first in the 1999 Bread Loaf School of English poetry contest, judged by Pulitzer Prize–winner and New Yorker poetry editor Paul Muldoon.”