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Technical writer Freelance

Published at 2020-05-06 - Viewed: 3360 times - Tails (Worldwide/Remote)


Tails, a portable operating system that protects privacy and helps avoid censorship, is looking for a technical writing consultant to strengthen our Technical Writing team. The Technical Writing team is responsible for writing our user documentation, support pages, and release notes.

About Tails

Tails is a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower people worldwide by giving out an operating system that protects from surveillance and censorship.

We make digital security tools accessible to everyone, whenever they need it: activists, journalists, freedom fighters, and ultimately, you, whenever you need extra privacy in this digital world.

The Tails project was started in 2009 and has now more than 30 000 daily users.

Role description

As a technical writer working for Tails, you will:

  • Update our user documentation to changes in Tails: new features, smaller updates, and changes in the included software.
  • Improve our support pages to answer frequent questions and document known issues and workarounds.
  • Redact release notes to describe the changes in new versions of Tails and how they affect users.
  • Communicate with our engineers, UX designer, and help desk to get a detailed understanding of the topic and discuss priorities.
  • Help our UX designer write text for user interfaces.
  • Apply, maintain, and improve our writing style guide.
  • Improve the structure and information architecture of our user documentation and support pages.

You will be part of the Technical Writing team and work with 2 other technical writers to decide priorities, assign tasks, and review each other’s work. You and your team will be responsible to self-organize your work and time with the project’s priorities in mind.

You will work remotely and use mostly asynchronous communication channels (email and bug tracker) to work with your team and other people in the project, who live in different time zones and have various degrees of involvement. We also use Jabber/XMPP and voice calls for synchronous communication.

You will be part of the Tails community, which includes paid workers and volunteer contributors. Together, we are in charge of maintaining not only an operating system but also the good health of the community. Together, we continuously discuss and improve various social and organizational aspects of the Tails project.

We will meet in person at least once a year during the annual gathering of all regular Tails contributors (usually in Europe).

You will have the opportunity to represent Tails in other international events, if you want to.


  • If you are part of a group that is under-represented in Free and Open Source Software communities, we particularly encourage you to apply. We acknowledge that our community is not as diverse as we would like it to be. We understand that we are part of the problem. We want to be part of the solution.
  • You can dedicate between 10 and 20 hours to Tails every month.
  • Experience working in technical writing of software documentation.
  • Good written skills in English. Most of our documentation was not written by native speakers, therefore being an English native speaker is a plus but not a requirement.
  • Some experience adapting your writing style to the context and the audience. For example, using plain language, writing for the web techniques, or technical communication style guides.
  • Some experience using Linux.
  • Interest in how people in a team organize their work and communicate about it, share their needs and feelings, make decisions, and share responsibilities.

Optional skills

Additionally, we would love it if you have:

  • Experience with some of the tools of docs as code workflows:
    • Issue trackers, for example GitHub, GitLab, or Redmine
    • Version-control software, for example Git, Subversion, or Mercurial
    • Plain text markup, for example Markdown, reStructuredText, or Textile
    • Static site generators, for example Hugo, Jekyll, or Sphinx
  • Experience participating in Open Source, Free Software, Internet freedom communities, or digital privacy tools.
  • Basic knowledge of web technologies: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.

How to apply

Send an email to

Include as much of the following information as you want. All items are optional:

  • CV
  • Feel free to not include your legal name, gender, or photo in your CV.
  • Links to your personal website, portfolio, or sample work
  • References

Mention the name of the job offer clearly in the body of your email.

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