​Fall 2010




To Write or Not to Write 


Although Accenti Magazine was launched in the fall of 2002, the seed for this cultural magazine was planted more than 30 years ago – as founding publisher Domenic Cusmano likes to recall. Thirty years ago, I had just finished high school and, although I had a desire to write, the pressure was to embrace a more lucrative profession (lawyer, notary, dentist, accountant), as many of my fellow Lester B. Pearson graduates have done. (The Lester B. Pearson High School 30 year reunion is this November 6)


Despite the difficulties currently afflicting print media, Accenti carries on, thanks to its readers, supporters and sponsors. Accenti reaches readers across Canada and beyond. It can be found in public libraries and in institutions of higher learning. It has been the topic of university papers, and it is used as a tool in the classroom. A short story published in Accenti was used recently for a Quebec college entrance exam. Accenti speaks to readers across the generations and across fields of study, to Italian Canadians and non-Italian Canadians alike.


Our parents and grandparents believed that willpower and hard work were essential to succeed – that there is hope in every struggle. As educated women and men straddling the manual world of the previous generations and the cyber world of the future, it isn’t always easy to figure out where we fit in.


Accenti To Write or Not to Write

Licia Canton 

For many aspiring and established writers the nagging internal conflict, sometimes caused by the pressure of family and peers, is “to write or not to write” – to pursue or not a creative project (or career) that takes time and energy away from everyday responsibilities. But how to reconcile the urge to write with the need for a “real job”! Novelist and frequent Accenti contributor Marisa De Franceschi, no doubt echoing the thoughts of many writers, affirms that she “cannot not write.”


As a publication, our objective is be relevant in image and word. Twenty issues later, we are proud of our accomplishments – the writers whose stories we have printed, the photographers whose images we have featured, the readers we have reached. Through our writing and photo contests, now in their sixth year, we have awarded more than $10,000 in prizes and discovered new talents (see “Confession” by Sigal Samuel, and “Window Shopping,” by Robert Norton, the second place winners of last year’s Accenti Writing and Photo Contests respectively.


Beyond the $1000 first prize, it is the recognition of one’s creative ability and the opportunity to connect with an audience that every creative person yearns for. Accenti is proud to be an agent in this creative process. The deadline for this year’s contests is February 18, 2011 (see accenti.ca for details).


Last June, I was a featured writer at “The Border as Fiction,” the 11th International Conference on the Short Story in English at York University, Toronto. Organized by University of Central Arkansas professor Maurice Lee, the biennial gathering features readings, discussions, and critical analyses, and brings together some of the world’s top short story writers such as Margaret Atwood, Alistair MacLeod, Li Ang, Bharati Mukherjee and Clark Blaise. Professor Lee is organizing the next conference in Italy in Summer 2012. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have some Italian Canadian writers featured there?


Licia Canton



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