In a publishing context, if a writer submits some copy (eg. an article) to an editor and the editor sends it back to be amended in some way, is there a word to describe that? Not 'reject' but something softer that indicates it's almost OK but needs some alterations.


I suggest the term "redlined" owing to the physically marked up hardcopy that may be returned, red ink denoting needs for change.

As in: Robert grudgingly received the heavily redlined draft of his presentation.


We may call it a DRAFT or Manuscript (MSS) A'Draft' is defined as an early version of a written work.

  • I have to revise the first draft of my term paper.

Before the onslaught of computer print, there used to have been copies sent from the press for moderators or proofreaders to be corrected, re-corrected and checked meticulously until the final one was marked as print-copy. All the earlier versions are DRAFTS where there remain scopes for moderation, improvement and correction.

So the same copy sent back for alteration may surely be called a DRAFT.

One renowned English writer- I can't exactly remember who- in writing the foreword to Khuswant Singh's book, again I fail to say which, nicely texted, the words are glued to my memory, there is no temptation so alluring as to change someone else's DRAFT; he had resisted that temptation. If I am not mistaken, he is T S Eliot.

Hence, DRAFT may be a fit choice in this context. To suit our purpose we may call it MODIFIABLE DRAFT even if a draft, so long it is not approved/ accepted as final, always means that there is further scope of improvement.

  • I don’t think OP is asking about what to call the paper at that point in the process, OP is asking for the term used to mean “the markup and return to the author” of a submitted revision. – Jim Jun 26 '16 at 23:34
  • But, ironically, we have one accepted that has added an attribute to the word draft; and, in that case, we can qualify it with any no of qualifying adjectival phrases — DRAFT for correction/modification/improvement/ development or anything better. Redlined seems to me humiliating for the author- a dent at his self-esteem. – Barid Baran Acharya Jun 28 '16 at 18:44

In newspaper offices it is known as "blue-pencilling".


  • That indicates the edits and where not that it needs revision by the author which may not involve a mark-up. – Stan Jun 26 '16 at 23:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.