CAOIMHE Brollo McCarthy wants to be an author when she grows up, "which means I need to know how to spell".
The Hamilton Public year six student has already demonstrated her sharp skills by securing a place in the final of the 2019 Premier's Spelling Bee, to be held in Sydney on Friday.
The 98 finalists are in the top 0.05 per cent of the 170,000 students from 1006 public schools across NSW who participated in the competition.
Students had to excel at the school and regional level to secure a spot in the final.
"I'm really excited," said Caoimhe, 11, who will compete in the senior division.
"I was quite surprised at first because I didn't think I'd get in.
"I'm going to give it my best shot.
"I need to stay calm, otherwise I'll fluff it up."
The finalists - including year four junior division competitors Felicity Wharton from The Junction and Georgia Garness from Wallsend South - have been reviewing the official word list in preparation, although students can also be tested on unseen words.
Felicity said she would try her best.
"It would be good if I win, but I don't think I will," she said.
"Then again, everyone wants to win and I might just get there. Whatever happens happens."
She said she'd do the crossword with her Nanna on the train to Sydney to get her synapses firing.
The 49 junior division contestants include Cessnock's Rhea Yenuga; New Lambton South's Hanina Ward; Coal Point's Ruby Blake; Mannering Park's Jonathan Williams; and Bolwarra's Serena Terpstra.
The 49 senior division contestants include Nulkaba's Kiara Howson; Valentine's Alessia Russell; New Lambton South's Callan Peterson; Lake Munmorah's Layla Smith and Bolwarra's Amber Hughes.
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