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'I was victim of child sex abuse' reveals former weekly editor

Nic OuttersideA former weekly newspaper editor has revealed he was a victim of childhood sex abuse in a new book about his life.

Nic Outterside revealed his “harrowing” past in a newly-released volume of poetry, compiled while recovering from a nervous breakdown he suffered last year while in charge of the Denbighshire Free Press.

The breakdown led to Nic leaving journalism last November and the doctor charged with his recovery suggested writing about the experiences which had ultimately led to it- which also include cancer, bankruptcy and a near-death experience.

The resulting self-published collection, entitled The Hill: Songs and Poems of Darkness and Light, touches on the abuse as well as other subjects.

He said: “From childhood sexual abuse, through cancer, bereavement, bankruptcy, divorce, repossession of my home, the loss of two of my children and an assault which almost took my life, I guess there was a lot to write about.

“And in hindsight I had held the breakdown at bay for far too long.”

Nic, pictured above with the book, also edited the Argyllshire Advertiser, Galloway Gazette and Buchan Observer during a 28-year career in journalism – during which he won several awards.

He based much of its content of the book on a blog he set up in the aftermath of his illness chronicling his life.

“I used the blog as a conduit for my own creative writing, current affairs opinion pieces and the odd bits of poetry,” he said.

“Then after about 10,000 blog hits and 100 regular followers I was amazed to find that the poetry was receiving all the positive feedback.

“My wife, mum and mother-in-law were the biggest and most obvious fans, but dozens of random friends and complete strangers suggested I should publish the poems ‘properly’ as a book.

“But from my own experience in publishing I knew that most international book publishers will not touch new poets with a cattle prod, so I decided to publish the book myself.

“Now, here it is – 100 pages of angst, joy, reflection and opinion, warts and all.”

Publication of the book follows his founding of PR and publishing company writeahead, which he established in June.

The self-published volume can be bought by visiting, emailing Nic at or by telephone on 07783 183102.


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  • November 10, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    Dear Editor, There are no errors in your article, only a lack of Justice to Nic Outterside. I am a distant relative, and I mean distant- I live in Australia.I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Nic & his family, but hope to one day. But WOW ! He is an inspiration to me and a lot of other people which I’m sure in his book we will learn more about him and be further inspired..
    Nic to me is a diligent, courageous,and very talented funny man & apparently a great cook too. Nic writing this book was a very brave thing to do. Most people sweep their troubles and depression under the carpet. Bravo to you Nic !
    I am looking forward to receiving a copy of ‘The Hill’ & hoping there’s a sequel. Happy reading everyone & Thank you Dear Editor & Nic.
    Warmest wishes, Melinda Outterside, Sydney, Australia

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  • November 11, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Wow! That unexpected comment from Melinda took my breath away. I believe, by looking at the family tree, we are distant cousins – share the same great, great, great grandparents! But we have never met nor indeed ever spoken. So to get that acclaim from the other side of the world is absolutely amazing – thank you so much. If there are a number of orders from Australia I can bundle to one PO address to save postage costs.

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  • November 14, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Well done, Nic! It’s a great book and I’m so pleased it’s doing so well.

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