Accenti, The Canadian Magazine with an Italian Accent, was founded by Domenic Cusmano and Licia Canton. It was launched online in November 2002, and in print in March 2003. Thirty-one issues were published in print until December 2014. Since January 2015, Accenti is published in an online-only format. Accenti also publishes a newsletter, which is emailed to subscribers nine times per year.
In 2005 Accenti launched the Accenti Writing Contest, inviting submissions for original and unpublished prose texts (short stories, nonfiction, creative nonfiction), and offering a top prize of $1000 and publication. Second ($250) and third ($100) place winners and honorary mentions are also published. In 2007 Accenti launched the “Capture an Italian Moment” Photo Contest with a similar $1000 first prize and publication. These two very popular initiatives together generate hundreds of entries each year, attracting many established professionals, as well as emerging artists whose exposure through Accenti has helped them build on their artistic profile. Since their inception, the Accenti contests have awarded over $25,000 in prizes to worthy writers and photographers. The contests were suspended in 2015, but were resumed in 2018. The prize structure of each contest was modified to offer a $1000 top prize and three runner-up prizes of $100.
In 2014, Accenti published Conspicuous Accents – Accenti Magazine’s Finest Stories of the First 10 Years (ISBN: 978-1-928065-01-2), a 300-page soft-cover volume of Accenti contest-winning and other well-received prose texts. Many articles and stories published in Accenti have been re-published or cited in university and college journals. In 2012 and 2013, Accenti published calendars with photos drawn from the Accenti Photo Contest. Photos included contest winners as well as finalists.
Commemoration of Wartime Internment Project
From 2010 to 2012, Accenti was a partner in a project funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage, the “Canadian Historical Recognition Program” (CHRP), to recognize the internment of Italian Canadians during World War II. Accenti published a year-long series of feature articles and participated in two book-length publications of literary and academic works respectively (Behind Barbed Wire: Creative Works on the Internment of Italian Canadians and Behind Barbed Wire: Essays on the Internment of Italian Canadians – published by Guernica Editions in March 2012). Accenti also participated in a five-city Canadian tour to create awareness about this very important event in Canadian history.
Since 2006, Accenti has partnered with the Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival to sponsor literary events, readings and launches at the festival. From 2006 to 2015, Accenti contest winners were announced in a ceremony during the Blue Met Festival. Since 2010, Accenti has partnered with universities to offer internships, either in office or remotely, to students studying literature or journalism. Students have come from various universities in Canada and Europe.