Monday, July 25, 2011


This past Saturday, we held a huge celebration for my daughter’s eighth grade and niece’s high school graduations. We transformed the backyard into a party haven, complete with canopies, tiki torches, and glowing paper lanterns.

The party was a success. I stayed up until 4:30 in the morning, trying to clean up the mess before the household woke up to get ready for church. However, as I stuck the dirty crockpot decorated with dried nacho cheese into the sink, I had enough. The rest had to wait until morning. Later morning.

After the party cleaning project was finished, I came within a few inches of planting myself on the couch for a nap. Then my daughter says, “About the Thank You cards for my graduation gifts—can’t I just send them a thank you on Facebook? It’s too hard to write all these ‘Thank Yous’.”

Really? I was too exhausted to explain how (when I was her age) I wrote out ‘Thank Yous’ in cursive on real paper. Instead, I hobbled with my sore feet to the basement and pulled out my Printshop software that I never installed. I figured she might have more fun making her own cards on the computer.

Which brought this question to my mind. How many writers use their talented skills to create their own cards? I wonder if Debbie Macomber heads to Walgreens when she needs a birthday card, or if she creates her own masterpiece of words for each card she sends.

And then, I couldn’t help but ponder the thought of greeting card writing as a side job, and wondered what a freelance writer has to do to sell an idea to a greeting card company.

If you’ve ever wondered the same thing, or are looking for another avenue to release your writing creativity—look into greeting card writing. Here are some tips I found online:

  1. Understand what other people want in greeting cards. Most greeting card companies cater to the people who most likely buy and send cards: women between the ages of 18 and 50.
  1. Create cards that are short and to the point.
  1. Make it original. Read newspapers, magazines and go to the movies for fresh ideas.
  1. Use target issues: Relationships, success, religion, money and health, etc.
  1. Use the Writer’s Market to search which companies accept submissions from freelance writers and be sure to follow their guidelines.

To give you an example of guidelines, check out this link for Dayspring Cards:

As for my daughter’s graduation Thank You cards, the Print Shop software is still lying on the counter. I think she’s hoping I’ll give in to the idea of the Facebook route.

~Marjorie DeVries


  1. I use a mix of greeting cards I buy and ones I make. I did try to pitch my photos to a Dayspring editor once, but she said they use stock photos. Sometime I may see about pitching inside lines, but it isn't at the top of my list right now.

    Kathryn Page Camp

  2. Great idea.

    Now, in my family, we have two different tiers of greeting cards. One tier are those my wife sends, which often is just a handwritten letter. Even if it is a store-bought card, she writes a well written note in addition to the pre-printed one. If it is someone I know, I'll add a comment as well.

    The second tier are the cards I send, which have two sub-classes -- to co-workers at Christmas and any time of the year to my wife. When the factory card outlet was still in business in Indianapolis, I'd get blank cards and write my own notes to my wife. Instead, now that I have to rely on preprinted, I underline key words and add a note.

    And my notes on the Christmas cards or the additions to the ones she sends? Maybe a complete sentence with my name and maybe a Scripture. (Not enough space on the cards for three dimensional characters or plot development.)