Are you looking for a unique writing job that can help to pay the bills?
If you have a talent for writing witty one-liners, being a fortune cookie writer may be for you. This role involves playing with words for a living and can be done on a full-time or part-time basis.
A large number of fortune cookie companies regularly employ talented wordsmiths who can think outside the box. Most employees have the opportunity to set their own hours and work in a remote location such as at home.
So, let’s take an in-depth look at this fascinating job and find out exactly how to become a fortune cookie writer.
- What Is A Fortune Cookie Writer?
- Fortune Cookie Origins
- The Skills Needed
- How Much Do Fortune Cookie Writers Make?
- Step By Step Guide
- Develop your writing skills
- Create A Comprehensive Portfolio
- Upload And Share Your Portfolio
- Start Applying For Jobs
- Launch your own service or company
- Looking For More Fortune Cookie Wisdom?
- Final Thoughts
What Is A Fortune Cookie Writer?
If you have ever eaten a fortune cookie, you will be familiar with the pieces of paper inside these crispy treats. The paper contains short and often rather mysterious or vague sentences. These sentences are popularly believed to predict the future of the person who eats the fortune cookie.
The mottos that can be found inside fortune cookies fall into one of a few different categories. They are typically predictions about the future, truisms, motivational slogans, or quotes. Depending on the interpretation, the fortune cookie categories can also overlap.
Small space big message…
As the name suggests, fortune cookie writers are responsible for writing the messages in fortune cookies. While the sentences are short, crafting the perfect message can take skill and practice. It is important to be able to create a meaningful or interesting message in a small amount of space.
Fortune Cookie Origins
Although many people think that fortune cookies hail from China, this is not actually the case. The first fortune cookies were actually created in California. While this much is known, there are a number of different legends regarding who created the first fortune cookie and why.
One legend states that David Jung invented the fortune cookie in Los Angeles in 1918. David Jung was a Chinese immigrant who founded the Hong Kong Noodle Company. Legend has it that Jung placed lines of inspirational Bible scripture in his fortune cookies and gave them to poor people.
Another legend is that the Japanese immigrant Makoto Hagiwara invented the fortune cookie in San Francisco. Makoto Hagiwara was a gardener and designed the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. However, he was fired from his job by an anti-Japanese mayor.
After losing his job, Makoto Hagiwara fell on hard times, and his friends rallied to support him. After he was rehired by a new mayor, he wanted to show his appreciation for all the support. Legend has it that he created fortunate cookies and hid thank you notes inside. He began serving these fortune cookies at the Japanese Tea Garden, and they were featured at the 1915 San Francisco’s world fair.
Kay Heong Noodle Factory
According to this legend, the fortune cookie was invented to help transform San Francisco’s Chinatown into a major tourist attraction. It is believed by many people to have been invented by a Kay Heong Noodle Factory employee in the 1930s. The plain flat cookie was wrapped around a piece of paper bearing a piece of Chinese wisdom to intrigue tourists.
The Chinese 49ers
It is believed by some people that the Chinese 49ers invented fortune cookies while helping to construct the railway through the Sierra Nevada to California. During the annual Moon Festival, they were unable to obtain the ingredients to create the traditional mooncakes. The need to improvise led to the creation of fortune cookies.
Modern Fortune Cookies
These days, around three million fortune cookies are consumed each year in the United States alone. The tasty treat became especially common in Chinese restaurants after WWII. Restaurants would use the cookies as a way of thanking customers for visiting and print the restaurant name on the mottos.
Over the years, the mottos in fortune cookies have been used in a wide range of ways. They are often handed out at birthday parties and weddings as a special gift for guests. Some politicians have also used them to make their campaigns.
Mike Fry took fortune cookies to the next level in 1988 when he founded Fancy Fortune Cookies®. These gourmet fortune cookies came in a range of different colors and flavors and were designed for dinner parties. The brand is still going strong, and some interesting variations include chocolate-dipped fortune cookies and versions with custom messages.
The Skills Needed
The good news is that no official degrees, certifications, licenses, or other qualifications are needed to be a fortune cookie writer. As long as you are at least sixteen years old and have writing skills, you could potentially be a fortune cookie writer. However, there are only a handful of fortune cookie writer jobs, making competition for these jobs very high.
To excel as a fortune cookie writer, you need to have excellent grammar and punctuation and be fluent in English. You need to be able to write short and pithy one-liners very quickly and have excellent copywriting skills. Being able to remain motivated while working alone will also be a big bonus.
How Much Do Fortune Cookie Writers Make?
Many people choose to write fortune cookie slogans as a way of topping up their income. These part-time and remote employees are usually paid according to the number of mottos they write. The average salary is around $19 per hour, while those who write quickly can make up to $38 per hour.
However, writers who are employed by fortune cookie companies full-time can expect to earn much more. Typically, these writers make between $40,000 and $80,000 per year, depending on skill and experience. However, the top fortune cookie writers can earn more than $100,000 per year.
Step By Step Guide
Because being a fortune cookie writer is a competitive industry, it is important to hone your skills. However, being able to write well is only part of the battle. Here are the steps you need to take to establish yourself as a fortune cookie writer.
Develop your writing skills
One of the main challenges of writing mottos for fortune cookies is being concise. The word count is usually restricted to twenty characters or less. Trying to create an impactful message within this limited structure can be very difficult.
Taking the time to analyze the structure and content of existing mottos can help to guide you. You can also keep a notebook full of motivational quotes, common sayings, and proverbs. Look for common themes in these materials and practice rewriting them in your own style.
Stuck for inspiration?
If you are still stuck for inspiration, Fortune Cookie Generator is a good tool to use. This website provides you with a colorful cartoon image of a fortune cookie. Clicking on the fortune cookie will provide you with a randomly generated fortune cookie saying.
Create A Comprehensive Portfolio
After you have written a few fortune cookie mottos you are happy with; it is time to create a portfolio. This portfolio is used to collect all of your best mottos in one place and can be shown to potential employers. It is a testimony to your skill as a fortune cookie writer as well as your professionalism.
Make sure that your portfolio includes mottos that cover all potential categories. To highlight your diversity as a writer, you can also divide the mottos into categories. This will indicate to employers that you understand the various styles and can follow them.
Once you have created a portfolio you are happy with; it is best to upload it to a digital platform. There are many different free online platforms to choose from.
Perhaps the easiest option is using Google Drive to keep all your mottos in one place in a special folder. You can then share the folder with individuals by creating a personalized message and emailing them the link. The good thing about this option is that you will receive a notification when people view the folder.
Create your own blog portfolio…
Alternatively, you can make your own blog to present all of your different styles of writing. The advantage of creating an online blog is that there are a few ways of customizing and presenting it. Make sure you include a separate section for fortune cookie mottos to make them easy to find.
Another advantage of creating an online blog is that it allows you to present yourself. You can write a short description on the main page of your writing style and general background. If you receive a lot of visitors to your blog, you can also monetize it with paid advertising.
Being able to send potential employers a link to your online writing blog is likely to impress them. You can include different styles of writing to show your versatility. You may even receive offers from employers who are looking for writers in other fields.
Start Applying For Jobs
Once you have your portfolio ready to share, it is time to start searching for jobs. A quick Google search should provide details of open fortune cookie writing jobs. You can also search for companies to introduce yourself to.
Create a list of at least a dozen people you want to reach out to. Try to find the name of the person you need to contact as well as their job title. This will help you to personalize your email so that you can connect more effectively with the recipient.
Send out your resume…
Next, it is time to work on your resume and cover letter. Both of these documents should highlight your writing skills and focus on your ability to write mottos for fortune cookies. Make a note of the date when you send out each correspondence so that you know when you follow up.
You should make it clear in the cover letter who you are, what you have to offer, and what you are looking for. The end goal is to receive a phone interview or an in-person meeting with the recipient. Politely establish that you want to be contacted and are waiting for a response.
Launch your own service or company
If you have a talent for writing mottos for fortune cookies and are struggling to find work, create your own demand. Writing custom-made mottos for special occasions could be much more lucrative in the long run. Start by creating an attractive website containing samples of your work and take the time to promote it.
Looking For More Fortune Cookie Wisdom?
Well, look no further! We’ve researched and found some great online options for inspiration. So, take a look at The First Book of Tasteless Fortune Cookie Fortunes, The Good Fortune Cookie: Mix-and-Match to Create Your Own Custom Fortunes, the Fortune Cookie (Culinary Mystery), The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food.
But wait, there’s more…the Fortune Cookies: Love, Success, Happiness Cards (Mini Inspiration Cards), The Love Fortune Cookie: A Romantic Keepsake (RP Minis), and the Knock Knock A Year of Fortunes (Without the Cookies) could be fun. Or why not the Smart Cookies: Wit and Wisdom from Fortune Cookies Around the World, all available in 2023.
We also found an interesting read for business principles with The Fortune Cookie Principle: The 20 Keys to a Great Brand Story and Why Your Business Needs One, and the Fortune Cookie Leadership: Wisdom for Leadership, Sales & Life.
Or you might want to buy some yourself a treat with the Individually Fresh crispy Wrapped Fortune Cookies Perfect for Snacks, Lunch, Picnic, Birthdays, Graduation, Parties (Citrus, 60).
Now that you know about becoming a fortune cookie writer, it is time to take action. Head to your local Chinese restaurant and scoop up as many fortune cookies as you can get your hands on. Take the time to study the format of the mottos inside the cookies and make notes on things that inspire you.
You should now be inspired to start writing your own mottos. Collect a portfolio of your best mottos, and keep honing your craft. When you are ready, start contacting companies to apply as a fortune cookie writer or create your own platform.
Good luck with your Fortune Cookie Writing!