Call for Submissions

Do you work in tech? Are you a content moderator, on-demand delivery driver, machine learning engineer, gig worker, security guard, or another rank-and-file worker in the tech industry?

This open call is for you!

Our editorial collective would love to hear your story and help you write. Since May 1, 2020, we’ve been publishing a newsletter with workers’ perspectives, moving at the speed of trust and building reliable processes — read more in our about page. Now, we’re excited to share this open call for contributors and collaborators.

We’ll help you put your workers’ perspective in writing, 200 to 1,200 words. It’s as much about the process and relationship as it is about the product we publish.

We do this in service of our editorial vision for this newsletter:

  • Building critical consciousness of workers as a class with shared interests.
  • Situating ourselves in the history of labor organizing, both within the industry and beyond it.
  • Sharing personal stories based on our experience educating, organizing, and collective action in tech.
  • Challenging the industry’s dominant culture of individualism and its acceptance of gross inequality.
  • Emphasizing the importance of solidarity with all workers.

What we publish

We welcome a variety of content from the workers’ perspective:

  • Original writing on topics we care about and can only address collectively.
  • Insight on specific situations like a first one-on-one, or general topics like escalating demands.
  • News of tech worker organizing from around the globe, particularly efforts with grassroots leadership.
  • Perspectives from underrepresented tech workers about their experiences in the industry and what they see as its failures.
  • Analysis of what can be achieved through building collective power, contextualized within the long legacy of labor organizing in similar fields.
  • Rebuttals to common anti-organizing sentiments, like the idea that “someone else will build this weapon” (they might not!).
  • Accounts of solidarity between different types of tech workers.

Previous issues have included a range of perspectives from tech workers:

  • Agonizing about framing anti-oppression organizing as ‘diversity training’ in tech.
  • Weighing quitting a union job at a water treatment plant for a solar power co-op.
  • Running study groups with other temps, vendors, and contractors — and then organizing.
  • Evaluating eight years as a designer in tech, escaping cultural and financial startup traps along the way.
  • Conducting a six-month study on the ties between tech companies and the military, scraping data on 100,000+ contracts.

In addition to personal stories, we also welcome creative alternatives — for example:

  • A BuzzFeed quiz to see if you’re under surveillance.
  • A Yelp! review of tech union campaigns.
  • The rare tale of actually using ‘unlimited’ paid time off.
  • Some kind of checklist for making algorithms slightly less racist.
  • A data scraping tool and newsfeed of company involvement with the military that helps inform overeager recruiters who they really work for.

What we don’t publish

We prioritize the workers’ perspective and working people representing themselves.

Here are some examples of content we typically reject:

  • Critiques of tech imperialism, capitalism, injustice, etc. — or proposals for alternatives — that are not based on your lived experience.
  • Abstract or niche commentaries that lack a universal theme like work, working conditions, or solidarity beyond the workplace.
  • Narratives from corporate nonprofit staff or campaign consultants, not from workers.
  • Anything that reads like a press release or impersonal op-ed.
  • General commentary on labor or the economy that doesn’t relate to the tech industry.

How to submit

Here’s how to start the process:

  1. Email us your rough ideas or pitches to twcnewsletter@protonmail.com!
  2. We’ll reach out to start a conversation.
  3. Then, we’ll help you get a first draft together, usually in a call.
  4. We’ll also discuss and decide with you how to handle anonymity and other security considerations.
  5. Overall, you can expect to do two or more drafts of your piece and invest 3-5 hours in this collaborative process.
  6. Depending on the story and strategy, we’ll move it fast or to give it more time. Our newsletters currently come out every other Friday.
  7. Finally, we publish the piece!

More ways to contribute

In addition to workers’ perspective, we welcome collaborators who can help with news, history, and songs. We also could use more eyes on proofreading and more hands pushing ‘publish’ each week! Including more collaborators is how we ensure the stewardship of this project for the long-term. Sound interesting to you? Email us!