Grant Allows Accent to Improve Literary Magazine

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Grant Allows Accent to Improve Literary Magazine

Accent members John Schlegel (left) and Sam Heckler-O'Connor (right) looking over final magazine printout.

Accent members John Schlegel (left) and Sam Heckler-O'Connor (right) looking over final magazine printout.

Nicholas Ruppert

Accent members John Schlegel (left) and Sam Heckler-O'Connor (right) looking over final magazine printout.

Nicholas Ruppert

Nicholas Ruppert

Accent members John Schlegel (left) and Sam Heckler-O'Connor (right) looking over final magazine printout.

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Last month, the Accent club received a $200 mini-grant from the Foundation for Boyertown Education. This was used to fund club activities, namely the yearly magazine production.

Club advisor Mr. DiLanzo appreciates the very kind gift, calling it “very generous” and the club “very fortunate”.

“The grant was utilized for the color and the binding, which is a little expensive,” Treasurer Blaze Myers said, “and to bind 130 copies.”

The Accent is a creative writing club that Blaze describes as a “creative hub of learning and sharing” where aspiring writers improve each other, culminating at the end of the year with the Accent magazine. The magazine showcases art in multiple forms: writing pieces from those in the club as well as those out of it, and art from Mr. Dareneau’s art students.

The Accent has a rich history in the school, beginning in the ’60s and carrying through, on-and-off, the decades. The club was taken over in 2015 by Mr. DiLanzo.

With 45 pieces in the magazine this year, many different genres and talent are displayed.

“Beyond the ‘normal’ genres that one writes, I feel that this edition has some unconventional texts, we’ll say,” Mr. DiLanzo said.

Ending on a comic strip and including interactive poetry as well as a Mad Lib, which Mr. DiLanzo thinks is “pretty cool.”

“One thing about being advisor is that the genres you naturally like to read and teach don’t always align with what the students do, so it’s interesting for me to see the different genres,” he said.

The grant allowed sophomore Victoria Vile to create an in-color cover for the magazine this year, showcasing a dragon and phoenix on the front and back covers.

Victoria Vile’s cover for this year’s Accent, which will be printed in color.

Other features of the magazine, such as the layout and editing, fell to Sam Heckler-O’Connor, John Schlegel, Blaze, and Mr. DiLanzo.

Seniors Sam and John are graduating after mulitple years in the club.

Sam, the editor of the magazine, has spent 3 years in the Accent. She is very proud of how it has improved, and of the magazine this year.

“I’m very impressed with how we’ve become more of a unit,” Sam said. “The first year I was in it there was a lot of chaos. And there’s still chaos, but it’s organized chaos. I really think the magazine is going to be more popular this year.”

After beginning to write in 8th grade, she is now pursuing a creative writing degree.

“In late 9th grade, I got the idea I wanted to be doing stuff with writing, whether it was editing or publishing or writing, for the rest of my life,” she said.

John has also spent 3 years in the Accent. As art director, he created the entire layout for the magazine on the program Indesign, learning the job along the way.

“Up until that point I had never really had any editing experience,” John said. “It was tedious: formatting everything, putting all of the pieces in, double checking over it, then getting corrected, going back through like 120 pages, and just keep rinsing and repeating that until it got to the final project.”

Mr. DiLanzo was especially impressed with the writing this year.

“Fantasy—in that vein—things that I otherwise wouldn’t read but that the kids excel in,” he said. “I’m really impressed with the poetry this year, and I feel that the short stories especially showcase students’ voice.”

Senior Alex Otto thinks Accent is fun and wishes he could have been in the club more in past years.

“I got to read a lot of cool stuff this year,” Alex said. “I didn’t know people in my area knew how to actually write.”

Next year, Mr. DiLanzo plans to begin work on the magazine earlier. Additionally, he hopes to include more non-fiction and drama pieces.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to produce something of similar caliber to this year’s.”