Publishing Canadian women's visual art and literature alongside overtly political articles, Branching Out sought to bring the work being done by Canadian women from the margins into the centre by producing a general-interest feminist magazine with the production quality to sit on the newsstand next to Chatelaine--a remarkable feat considering the magazine relied almost exclusively on volunteer labour, grant funding, and donations for its entire seven-year history.
In Anderson's quasi-autobiographical novel, Rough Layout (1981), the tension between mainstream women's magazines and feminist periodicals is played out with reference to Branching Out. The novel tells the story of Judith (Jude) Pemberton, a talented magazine editor working for Young Living, "a nice, middle-class, upwardly mobile magazine" for women (56).
Rough Layouts single mention of Branching Out comes when Jude and Lenore are out for lunch discussing the possibility of Lenore writing an article for Young Living about women in physically abusive relationships.
Rough Layouts reference to Branching Out concisely outlines the terrain of feminist periodical publishing in Canada and establishes Branching Out as well known enough that in a work of popular fiction in 1981 Anderson could contrast Branching Out with her protagonist's magazine in order to distinguish between what is viewed as mainstream and what is overtly feminist.
Branching Out should have a prominent place in the history of Canadian feminist periodicals because it was the first and only national general-interest feminist magazine published in Canada in the 1970s.