Outlander Opens Eyes to Eccentric Writing

By Kelsey Chen (II), Staff Writer

Outlander Zine, founded by Cindy Tran (I), opens the door for readers to an unknown, eccentric and unique world. Although only created in September 2020, Outlander has already gained a following from all over the world. The digital outlet calls attention to the bizarre through features of uncommon poetry, art, prose, photography and personal essays. 

After participating in the Young Writers Initiative over the summer, Tran looked to create a magazine with content that was lacking in the field of writing — content that was “out-of-the-box.” As Tran describes, “Our mission is to highlight the awkward, the eccentric and the weirdly beautiful, so a lot of the work we feature is unique to anything you would find in more mainstream publications.” By highlighting peculiarities, she hopes to create a platform for creators who diverge from social standards.

Proving the mission of Outlander true, over thirty staff members set the standards high in the first issue, Mercury, released on January 4. The 40-page zine is filled with awe-inspiring content, graphics and artwork that have been in the works for months.

Artistic Director Leah Prodigalidad (I) shares, “Mercury was themed around the random things that fascinate and excite us, whether it be mundane and normal, or unconventional and otherworldly. We wanted people to reveal their identity through their fascinations and through elements of surrealism.”

In addition to their themed issues, Outlander is open year-round to general public submissions that will be included on their website. Whether it be prose, poetry or a personal essay, the zine has ensured a communicative and collaborative space. Writers and artists alike feel that Outlander has provided them with a space to be themselves and share their thoughts with the world.

Gabriella Troy (I), author of the poem “Worldly Matter of Thought,” remarks, “I myself have been able to dive into any topic on my mind, working out my deepest thoughts and putting my emotions into abstract words. Outlander embraces everything — the good, the bad, the beautiful, the weird — and everyone can find their place in its community.” Troy’s recent piece explores the dark but realistic side of humanity and the hope and glories of the world.

Given their recent success, the Outlander team hopes to one day see their issues in print for the entire world to view. Until the dream becomes a reality, they have been working on the second issue, Recess. Tran describes the reasoning behind its name: “We chose the word “recess” over something conventional like “nostalgia” or “memory” because “recess” brings back more of the happy, carefree moments that we had as children.” Submissions for Recess are open for pieces about cheerful memories which are needed now more than ever during these hard times.

The deadline to submit for Recess is February 15. To experience the feeling of diving deep into a surreal world, Mercury, Outlander’s first issue, is available to read here.