ContentWise Blog

The Rewrite Letter, a Model for Editors

We (editors) have all been there. The first draft of the article you assigned comes in off-target. It’s time for that critical tool of feedback, the rewrite letter—or, more likely, the rewrite e-mail—which outlines the revisions you want the writer to make.

Here’s a model rewrite letter (in the form of a PDF document) that we developed as the third ingredient in our recommended recipe for eliciting high-quality articles from freelance contributors. It’s based on the same basic themes that shape our model assignment letter and our other suggestions for getting the best from freelancers. In a nutshell: Be clear, be specific, and show that you value the writer’s knowledge and skills.

Follow this model and you’ll get a second draft that’s much closer to the bull’s-eye. Then you can edit and polish it into final shape.

Download PDF: The Rewrite Letter PDF download

One response to “The Rewrite Letter, a Model for Editors”

  1. Susan Freinkel

    As a long-time freelance writer who has written for a bunch of national magazines, can I just say that I wish every editor had these tips pasted to the wall in front of them. If every assignment was given with such clarity and every writer treated with such respect, freelancers would be a far happier — and probably far better paid — lot. Thank you for your wise words!