Become a Greeting Card Writer: Career Guide

Find out how to become a greeting card writer. Research the education and training requirements and learn about the experience you need to advance your career as a greeting card writer.

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Do I Want to Be a Greeting Card Writer?

Greeting card writers use a personal voice to create cards that convey sympathy, celebration, or appreciation or just aim to make someone smile. They put into words what others may not be able to express to friends, family, and acquaintances. Writing for greeting card companies demands creativity and talent, and writers need to be able to adapt to assignments. Staff writers do the majority of their work in an office setting, while freelancers can work from anywhere and may contract with a variety of card companies. Freelance assignments may be quite competitive, and writers' incomes might be sporadic. The need to meet deadlines could cause a certain amount of stress to some jobs.

Job Requirements

Although not always required, certain positions or assignments may require a bachelor's degree in a field such as journalism or English; a portfolio of personal works may give greeting card writers an edge. These writers might be required to perform research to keep up with current trends in the market and may be called upon to collaborate with designers and other staff. The following table specifies the major job requirements:

Degree Level A bachelor's degree may be required for a full-time staff position*
Degree Field English or related field*
Experience Writing experience**
Key Skills Writing skills, creativity, critical thinking, and understanding of English grammar and composition**
Additional Requirements Persistence, initiative, innovation, and attention to detail**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , **O*Net Online.

Step 1: Get a Bachelor's Degree

Some greeting card companies prefer to hire writers who have a bachelor's degree. An undergraduate degree program in English or creative writing could help students hone their writing skills and might allow for critiques from peers and professors. Some programs allow students to focus on writing poetry, which could be helpful in composing greeting card verse. Students can explore their imagination in writing and create a portfolio of work to show employers.

Step 2: Learn About Greeting Card Styles

Exploring different styles of writing greeting cards and the variety of card companies producing them can help individuals decide what kinds of cards they would like to write and which card companies would most likely take them on. According to the Greeting Card Association, humor cards tend to command a higher price than poetry. Still, it's best to work in a style in which one feels comfortable.

Step 3: Undertake an Internship

Some of the larger greeting card companies offer internship positions to new college grads and other prospective greeting card writers. To apply for an internship, a writer might need to submit writing samples. Internships can provide valuable experience in industry-specific writing styles that may not be taught in college classrooms.

Step 4: Consider Freelancing

Many greeting card writers start out as freelancers. According to the Greeting Card Association, there are over 3,000 publishers of greeting cards in the U.S. These range from large, well-known corporations to small, family-owned businesses and individual studios. One way to garner experience is to freelance for some of the many smaller card houses that ask for online idea submissions. Submission guidelines can often be found by contacting greeting card companies directly or by visiting their websites.

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