Back To Career News

This Is a Real Job: Writing Fortune Cookie Fortunes

Topics:
If you always wanted to be a writer, but just can't seem to sit still long enough to craft the next "War and Peace," do not despair. Consider writing fortune cookie fortunes. This wild and wacky job only requires one or two sentences per publication, a short (short) story writer's dream job.

If you always wanted to be a writer, but just can’t seem to sit still long enough to craft the next “War and Peace,” do not despair. Consider writing fortune cookie fortunes. This wild and wacky job only requires one or two sentences per publication, a short (short) story writer’s dream job.

(Photo Credit: It’s So Sunny!/Flickr)

It seems that writing fortune cookie fortunes was not always big business. According to The Week, Wonton Foods was established as recently as 1973. They are still the biggest manufacturer of fortune cookies and their fortunes, shipping as many as 5 million cookies daily, each one complete with little tidbits of wisdom and luck, to restaurants throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, and Europe.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

When Donald Lau was vice president of Wonton Foods, he would scribble out the little messages between other job duties. He told The New Yorker in 2005 that he would find inspiration wherever he could find it, including subway signs.

The Week also reports that another writer of fortune cookie fortunes, Lisa Yang, vice president of Yang’s Fortunes in San Francisco and daughter of founder Steven Yang, claims to find fortune cookie fortune inspiration in both ancient Chinese adages as well as modern-day horoscopes in the newspaper. We creative types know that there might be inspiration hiding anywhere. You just have to look.

However, back at Wonton Foods, even Lau could not keep up with 5 million per day. Wonton Food, Inc. pays a team of freelance writers to keep the messages new and fresh. Every couple of years, the contracted writers renew and refresh Wonton Foods’ database of 15,000 messages. Sounds like a fun gig for any creative writer.

Today there are blogs dedicated to the history and art of writing fortune cookie fortunes. A lot of time, effort and research seems to go into crafting unique pieces of ten words or less.

Interestingly, fortune cookie fortunes are an American phenomena. Chinese restaurant owners in American would not dream of serving you or handing you a bag of takeout that did not include the little treats. In China, however, it is neither expected nor common.

Tell Us What You Think

What is the best fortune you have ever read from a fortune cookie? Leave us a comment or join the conversation on Twitter.

More From PayScale

Chocolate Isn’t Good Enough: Become an Ice Cream Guru

This Job Really Exists

A Right You Don’t Want: The Right to Work


22
Leave a Reply

avatar
22 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
15 Comment authors
Jason SchillerYusuf AminSerena TaylorKristineKim Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Kristine
Guest
Kristine

I enjoy writing and I am asked to write poems for all major family events. My work ethic is extremely strong as well.

Chad Calvert
Guest
Chad Calvert

For twice the fortune eat twice the cookie.
When you eat cookie, read fortune with in bed before or after fortune.
For more fortune eat big fortune cookie.
Truth never tasted sweeter, except for suger free fortune cookie.
Eat if you love this fortune.
Fortune cookie made like big heart for bigger appetite.

kevin
Guest
kevin

I would be very interest in writing fortunes cookies
please send me information on this position thank you

Jason Schiller
Guest
Jason Schiller

In life we can become like the wind…….Hello, Just a taste of what I would write. I’m a disabled Veteran, and a single father of two little girls I’m raising on my own. I’m very interested in becoming a fortune cookie writer.

Yusuf Amin
Guest
Yusuf Amin

I would really like to have this job. I know that I will be able to provide you with creative, interesting, and positive fortunes that will make anyone smile. Smiling is key

ted
Guest
ted

how can make money doing this.. I have some good quotes for fortune cookies

fortune cookie writer wanted.
Guest
fortune cookie writer wanted.

dear Lelia would u like to be hired call me at 1780 622 4494

callie cat
Guest
callie cat

i need to know how much money u make for a school project:)

Leila
Guest
Leila

I think I can be the best fortune cookie writer you can find. Please let me know what to do about this offer.
Thanks

Reba Bolden
Guest
Reba Bolden

I a interested in becoming a fortune cooking writer. I am currently a writer of proposal, program reports, evaluation reports. I have an uncanny ability to come up with catchy phrases. Can you point me in the right direction to speak with a legitimate fortune cookie manufacturer.

Thank you,

Reba

Joan Tapnainen
Guest
Joan Tapnainen

I want to be a free lance fortune cookie writer – how and where do I apply?

Thanks, JT

holaaaaa
Guest
holaaaaa

anthony cool it

f
bf
hbt tvrecf kfnr bfvfvghbjncxszxfdcgbhjnmlkjnhbgkfjdxzstrx eydctfgbhkje xyrctfgbhjnkm
HOW MUCH MONEY DO YUO MAKEEEE

anonymous
Guest
anonymous

this is sad

anthony
Guest
anthony

HELP! I NEED TO BECOME A FORTUNE COOKIE WRITER TELL WHAT I NEED TO BECOME THE BEST. IT HAS BEEN MY DREAM SINCE A REALLY YOUNG AGE. I NEED YOUR HELP TO SUCCED SO CAN U PLEASE TELL ME WHAT QUALIFICATIONS I NEED??????????? PLZPLZPLZPZLPZLPZLZPZLPZLZPLZPZLZPLZPZLPZLZPZLPZL THNX WITH LOVE ANTHONY KATRINAKIS ATHENS GREECE

Capricorn
Guest
Capricorn

So how does one go about getting a free-lance gig writing these fortunes?

Serena Taylor
Guest
Serena Taylor

How do you become a fortune Cookie writer I have also looked into greeting cards and reading books to no avail with either.
Serena

Kim
Guest
Kim

I HAVE AN AMAZING MIND AND WOULD LOVE TO WRITE FORTUNE COOKIES! THANK YOU

ouch
Guest
ouch

“Sell Enron, buy Facebook, and stop eating really old cookies.”

Emmi
Guest
Emmi

‘Disbelief destroys the magic’

This would be such a fun job! I’d go to town with my puns and philosophical soundbites, shame there don’t seem to be many of these jobs around.

dayana
Guest
dayana

I am interesting, please send me information.

Marian
Guest
Marian

How Can i make this as a job for really

callie cat
Guest
callie cat

i need to know how much money u make for a school project:)

What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.