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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Dena J. King Announces The Winners Of The 6th Annual "Do The Write Thing" Writing Challenge In Asheville

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – U.S. Attorney Dena J. King announced the winners of the 6th Annual “Do the Write Thing” (DtWT) writing challenge, during an award ceremony held this evening in Asheville.

The Do the Write Thing Challenge is a program of the National Campaign to Stop Violence, which seeks to encourage middle school students to express the impact of violence in their lives through writing, and empower students to become catalysts for positive change by sharing their ideas on ways to reduce youth violence. 

“Now more than ever, we must provide children with opportunities to express the impact and trauma violence has caused in their young lives,” said U.S. Attorney King, who chairs the DtWT committee in Asheville. “It is equally important for us adults to really listen, with our ears and our hearts, to the ideas and solutions young people have to offer on how to curb violence in our communities. I want to congratulate the winners, the finalists, and all the students who participated in the writing challenge, and thank the parents, guardians, teachers, and school administrators for supporting and encouraging students to express themselves through the written word. Violence reduction is one of the highest priorities of the Department of Justice, and prevention is an important component of an effective crime reduction strategy. I am looking forward to partnering with our schools and our community to develop pathways for positive change.”

A total of 603 essays written by middle school students attending Asheville Middle School and Buncombe County Schools were submitted for consideration. Of the 12 finalists recognized at this evening’s ceremony, Maggie Agan, an 8th grader with Asheville Middle School, and Bear Farmer, an 8th grader with Valley Springs Middle School, were announced as this year’s overall contest winners and were designated as National DtWT Ambassadors. As National Ambassadors, Maggie and Bear, their parents/guardians and the teachers who submitted their essays will be invited to participate in the “Do the Write Thing Challenge National Recognition Week” in Washington, D.C., in July. During this all-expense-paid trip, Maggie and Bear will have an opportunity to visit national monuments and have their works placed in the Library of Congress. 

During this evening’s ceremony, U.S. Attorney King also thanked the Asheville Police Department, the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, the Asheville Housing Authority, and the SPARC Foundation for partnering with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to form the DtWT committee. U.S. Attorney King also recognized the teachers, school administrators, counselors, parents, guardians, and caregivers for their dedication in this important endeavor, and thanked them for supporting the students’ efforts and helping them reach their full potential.

For more information on the National Do the Write Thing program please visit

Updated May 31, 2022

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