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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Dena J. King Announces The Winners Of The 7th 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 7th Annual “Do the Write 


Thing” (DtWT) writing challenge, during an award ceremony held this evening in Asheville. U.S. Attorney King serves as Chair of the DtWT Committee 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 to empower students to become catalysts for positive change by sharing their ideas on ways to reduce youth violence. 

“The written word is a powerful medium for expression,” said U.S. Attorney King. “The Do the Write Thing essay challenge gives students an opportunity to use their writing skills to share their experiences, explore their thoughts and emotions, and convey the impact of violence in their young lives. It also encourages students to find solutions and ways they can help reduce violence in their communities. I congratulate the winners of the challenge, the finalists, and all the students who participated in the competition this year, and I extend a sincere thank you to the parents, guardians, teachers, and school administrators for supporting and encouraging students to express themselves through their essays.”

A total of 362 essays written by middle school students attending Asheville Middle School and Buncombe County Schools were submitted for consideration. Of the finalists recognized at this evening’s ceremony, Ace Wilkins, an 8th grader with Asheville Middle School, and Hannah-Grace Tweedie, an 8th grader with Cane Creek Middle School, were announced as this year’s overall contest winners and were designated as National DtWT Ambassadors. As National Ambassadors, Ace and Hannah-Grace, 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. During this all-expense-paid trip, Ace and Hannah-Grace 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 recognized the Asheville Police Department, the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Asheville Fire Department, the Asheville Housing Authority, Our VOICE, SPARC Foundation, and United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County 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 to this important endeavor, and thanked them for supporting the students’ efforts.

“My Office and the Justice Department are committed to implementing strategies to prevent and reduce crime in our communities. Engaging our schools and the community as critical partners is an important component to our overall success,” said U.S. Attorney King. “I am looking forward to our continued partnership with Buncombe County Schools and Asheville City Schools and I value their commitment to fostering a positive environment that helps students realize their full potential.”

U.S. Attorney King also participated in Monday’s Do the Write Thing ceremony in Charlotte, during which Aaliyah Williams-Camp from Eastway Middle School and Michael Tadi from Coulwood STEM Academy were announced as the winners of the essay competition in Charlotte.

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

Updated May 10, 2023

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