Philip Tory, international freelance technical authors

Freelance Technical Author – very skilled, experienced and well educated

15 years writing experience with an international client base

Technical Manuals written on (almost) any subject

I have about 20 years' experience as a Technical Author, and have been running my own business since 2000.

I have a Passion for Good Writing

I have always had a natural ability to explain things to people. Even when I was still in sixth-form at school, I used to give talks to my local Amateur Radio Club. (I built my first radio from the bits when I was 13 - and I still build my own PCs from the component parts.)

In my career, I have worked in many areas of radio, electronic, electrical and mechanical engineering; technical sales (turnkey software systems) and Software Product and QA Management. At Bath University, where I studied Applied Physics with Electronics, I won the Year Prize for the best Finals Thesis - my first award for good documentation.

Now, as a full-time technical author, I am passionate about good writing, and I value the quality of good documentation for my clients and their customers.

Across my career, I was often asked to write the Technical Manuals and Help Guides. I improved my skills by continually asking our many customers for feedback on what they liked to see in a good Manual or Help Guide. And I am most grateful for all that feedback!

I have studied the best practices of Technical Writing and Plain English across the English-speaking countries world-wide. Fortunately, they were all saying the same things, so I adopted their recommendations into my technical writing style, and later developed a Technical Writing Course.

Technical and Scientific interests and background

At 4 universities, I studied Applied Physics, Electronics and Control Engineering to Masters level. This also included a fair bit of Chemistry too.

I have always had wide scientific and technical interests. Before I left school, I designed and built radio transmitters / receivers / power supplies / amplifiers, and later I built a complete 2-manual electronic organ from the individual components. In my early career years, I was a member of the British Interplanetary Society, – fascinated by advances in space exploration.

Operations and Quality COntrol manual for refuelling aircraft at London Heathrow Airport.Freelance Writer - What can I write about? ... What am I good at?

I find that I can write competently about almost any technical, industrial or business area. I have helped customers in diverse areas such as:

  • How to operate Leisure Centre Management Systems
  • How to run a business franchise
  • Technical Specifications for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), which will be the world's biggest optical telescope, having a 130-foot mirror.
  • How to use dozens of software applications in diverse fields, such as the BP Shipping oil fleet cargo  management; pharmacy dispensing; physiotherapy booking systems...
  • How to operate a personal blood-testing device (e.g. for diabetes)
  • How to operate and maintain industrial, 3D X-Ray scanning systems
  • I edited the database of all the medical equipment used in all the hospitals and dental practices in India, via Crown Agents
  • Operator Manual, equipment for freeze-drying of nuclear waste for Berkeley Nuclear Power Station
  • Aircraft refuelling procedures for Heathrow Airport.

What can't I write about?

Plain English is my speciality - essential for new users or for translation into other languagesBlessed with a pretty good scientific and technical background, in 15 years of running my own business there was only one occasion when I had to decline writing a Help Guide - for DNA analysis. When they got to alleles and genomes, I "raised the white flag" and declined. I didn't know enough about the science to be able to explain it confidently to specialists in that area. Fortunately, they were then able to find someone who could.

On the other hand, when the Cardiac Research dept. at the University of Oxford asked me to do a Help Guide for some new software that predicted the effect of proposed new drugs on heart cells, I was able to pick up the science of it and did the job: they were well pleased indeed.

Ask the Technical Author

If you need a good freelance technical author, just call me, Philip Tory, and let's see if I can help.
I'm on 01452 500639 ... or > Contact us.