Are you good at creating witty one-liners, motivational quotes, or crafting delicious aphorisms and prophecies?
You are? Well, you could become a fortune cookie writer and a good one at that.
Being a fortune cookie writer entails crafting short and imaginative lines full of predictions and divinations, most of which won’t hold but are still fun to read.
You can do it as a freelancer, for your own cookie manufacturing business, or get employed full-time by a company. As you will learn in the subsequent sections, the mode of work (freelance or full-time employment) affects—to a certain degree—the earnings from fortune cookie writing.
But, what is a fortune cookie writer? What would you be doing as a fortune cookie writer? How much would you make working as a fortune cookie writer?
This post has answers to these questions and more… read until the end to find out everything there’s to know about cookie writing.
What is a Cookie Writer?
A fortune cookie writer is a creative writer who makes a living coming up with prophetic quips, witty one-liners, pithy instructive sayings, and ambiguous prophecies.
These concise and meaningful words are then printed on a piece of paper placed inside of fortune cookies.
Just because the sentences are short doesn’t mean the task is easy; in fact, a fortune cookie writer has to have excellent writing and communication skills—their ability to create unique and creative messages is the most valuable asset.
It’s like putting a big bundle of motivation, inspiration, and joy in a few words.
Those few words have a powerful and significant impact on the marketing element of a business. The more creative you are as a fortune cookie writer, the more entertained the customer will be, leading to increased interest in the cookies, and probably, more revenue.
More revenue for the firms, and more revenues for you if you’re a freelancer, and more bonuses if you are a full-time employee.
The Type of Degree You Need to Become a Fortune Cookie Writer
Do you have to go to college to become a fortune cookie writer? What degree do you need to be an eligible fortune cookie writer?
You need neither!
The good thing about fortune cookie writing is you don’t need to be a college graduate, and you certainly do not need a degree to become a fortune cookie writer.
Even though there’s no Fortune Cookie Writing school, you could need some type of guidance. So, if you want to “educate yourself,” you could do it all online. Nowadays, there are online learning resources for almost any line of work. You can take advantage of these resources and become a good fortune cookie writer.
But, as I have already said, a good sense of humor and some level of creativity will take you a long way.
The Origins of Fortune Cookies
Who invented fortune cookies?
Contrary to popular belief, there’s a high chance that fortune cookies could have originated from the US.
But let’s start with the narratives most of us know. It is said that fortune cookies have their origin in China and Japan.
Some say that they were invented by Chinese rebels in the 14th century, who used to exchange messages stuffed in a dessert.
Another narrative disagrees with “the Chinese rebels” origins and claims that fortune cookies were first made in Japan’s traditional tsujiura senbei.
And then a third narrative, a bit unpopular, but with some base. This one claims that David Jung invented the fortune cookie in Los Angeles in 1918.
In 1918? I doubt this narrative, but David Jung (an immigrant who founded the Hong Kong Noodle Company) is said to be the first one to make fortune cookies in America, so maybe—just maybe—he invented them.
Nowadays, fortune cookies have established themselves as an important part of the Asian-American food culture.
How Much Do Fortune Cookie Writers Make?
Having read the previous sections, you know that you can become a fortune cookie writer if you have a knack for creative writing.
But, a question still remains: How much can you make writing fortune cookies?
Well… you can make a pretty penny crafting fortune cookies, but—sometimes—it depends on the mode of your work. If you’re a freelancer, you’ll probably be charging per ‘fortune,’ and the number of sayings you produce will determine the total income from fortune cookie writing.
So, speed and number of fortune cookie writing offers are the ultimate determiners for freelance fortune cookie writers.
If you’re a full-time employee, then the remuneration package agreed in the contract will determine your income from fortune cookie writing.
For established fortune cookie writers, the salary ranges from $20,000 to $50,000.
You could also be running your own fortune cookie business and decide to write the sayings in the fortune cookies yourself. To keep yourself motivated, you might allocate yourself a tiny percentage of the fortune cookie sales.
Where Can You Apply For Work As a Fortune Cookie Writer?
I’m tempted to say that you can apply for work as a fortune cookie writer at Wonton Food Inc, but everyone knows that you’d win ten consecutive lotteries before getting that job there.
But it won’t hurt if you check their careers page now and then for an opening.
There are a couple of companies that are promising as far as employment opportunities go. One of them is SugarWish, a “gifting company” that also makes and delivers fortune cookies.
And there are small companies like Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory who are running a small operation but could soon want to expand, and opportunities might become available.
The thing is: there isn’t a single place where you can apply for work as a fortune cookie writer, the internet is a good starting place though. If you’re having trouble finding business in this category, this Google search page can help you.
How to Become a Fortune Cookie Writer
The fortune cookie writing industry is a very competitive one, partially because of the fact there aren’t many big firms looking for new writers.
So, one must work on their skills. Not only do you need to hone your writing skills, but there are a couple of other things or areas that need some improvement.
Here are some steps you can take to become a fortune cookie writer:
1. Hone Your Writing Skills
You’d be forgiven for thinking that writing that—most often than not—involves putting together 20 words or less does not demand creativity and structure.
However, three of the main challenges a writer faces when writing these fortune cookie sayings are exactly creativity, structure, and concision.
Obviously, you’re always going to have an eensy-weensy word count, and the challenge is trying to create an impactful message within that tiny perimeter.
Unless you have someone to mentor you, the best way of learning is analyzing the structure, themes, content, word count (which is usually 20 characters or less) of existing fortune cookie sayings.
In addition to that, you can study random motivational quotes, short philosophical sayings, and proverbs.
2. Create a Portfolio
After getting the hang of creating fortune cookie mottos, you have to create a portfolio. A portfolio is a set of your best sayings collected to be shown to potential customers or employers.
For a potential client who’s never worked with you, you’re as good as your portfolio—it’s a testament to your skill as a fortune cookie writer.
To showcase how diverse you are as a writer, your portfolio has to cover all potential categories (i.e., predictions, quotes, and truisms). It is prudent to categorize your writing so that your potential clients know that you are knowledgeable about the various styles.
3. Upload Your Portfolio to an Online Platform
The portfolio has to be presented to potential clients, and the easiest way of doing this is to upload it to an online platform.
And, there are a lot of options, most of which are free and hence easily accessible by anyone with links to the platforms.
The first that comes to mind is Google Docs, which is a mostly free online storage platform that gives you enough storage for documents and other small files. All you need is a Google account, which is also a free service, and you’re good to go!
In Google Drive, all you do is create a folder and upload your portfolio, tweak a few sharing options and share the link with potential employers when you apply for a gig.
4. Create a blog
A blog is another way of creating and sharing your portfolio. Instead of creating a collection of fortune cookie mottos, you can create your own blog to showcase your mastery of different writing styles.
Creating a portfolio this way is advantageous because you can monetize the blog, creating an alternate source of income. Plus, you can customize the blog and make the portfolio more presentable.
A Google doc doesn’t give enough room to express yourself and give potential clients or employers a little bit more of yourself. On the other hand, a blog allows you to express yourself and give visitors a short description of the services on offer and general background.
So, you might even get job offers you weren’t expecting, better offers than you anticipated.
5. Apply For Jobs
After creating your portfolio and uploading it, it’s time to start looking for jobs…
It’s time to get busy! You need to do some research on open fortune cookie writing jobs and if you initially thought of Google, you thought right. A Google search is a good starting place and can help you find fresh fortune cookie writing opportunities and give you a list of companies that have hired fortune cookie writers before.
Once you find who is or was hiring, you can create a list of people and first then contact them later or send your résumé.
Before sending your résumé and cover letter, you have to make sure they will work in your favor, not against you. On these documents, you should give the potential employer or client a hint of your writing skills and creativity needed for writing fortune cookie sayings.
6. Launch your own Business
Finding work won’t be easy, I’m neither happy nor proud to say that, but it’s the truth in many sectors.
So, if you are struggling to find work, you can work around that by creating your own service company.
Launch your own company, produce custom-made sayings for special occasions or create an app that displays inspirational sayings upon the user’s completion of a particular task. You can monetize the app and make money off your writing.
Fortune Cookie Writing Resources
We can all agree that these are the best times for finding learning resources, and there are loads of fortune cookie writing-related resources online.
I did some digging and there are a lot of good reads; here are some of them:
- Smart Cookies: Wit and Wisdom from Fortune Cookies Around the World
- The Good Fortune Cookie: Mix-and-Match to Create Your Own Custom Fortunes
- The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food
- The First Book of Tasteless Fortune Cookie Fortunes
- Fortune Cookies: Love, Success, Happiness Cards (Mini Inspiration Cards)
Oh! Did I forget the Fortune Cookie (Culinary Mystery)? Actually, I might have missed a lot of these books, all of them good in their own way.
So, you’ve made up your mind and set yourself on the path to being a fortune cookie writer, this is my last piece of advice:
Always remember that you alone have the power to make yourself the best fortune cookie writer.
If you work on your abilities and work as smart and hard as possible, there will be positive results.
Work on your creativity, work on your work ethic, everything will fall into place.