Sandra Miller-Louden's

Greeting Card Writing Dot Com





Welcome Word for Word Readers!!

For those of you who think I dropped in a hole somewhere, I bring great tidings!  The news of my dropping in a hole has been greatly exaggerated.  (As those aspiring greeting card writers who email me daily can readily attest to!)  Why has it been 19 months between columns?  The only excuse I have is the most hackneyed, clichéd, trite one I can think of—I’ve been busy!


So, what exactly have I been doing since my last Word For Word Column?  Let me catch you up on just some of the really exciting happenings in my life as a greeting card writer.


Shortly after I last wrote this column, I was asked to be part of a Master’s Thesis for a former greeting card writing student, Christina Chateauvert.  Her work, Aspirations: The Art of Writing, was submitted to Boston’s Emerson College Graduate Division in partial fulfillment for Christina’s Master of Arts Degree in Writing and Publishing.  Christina had originally planned to use my comments on the various aspects of greeting card writing as more of a footnote; when she looked over my interview, however, she included my insights as a full-length feature that ran seven pages.  Imagine my thrill when she wrote me several weeks later saying she did, indeed, earn her Master’s Degree!  As coincidence would also have it, one of the English professors she interviewed for her work was my son’s former professor.  Small world—and huge accomplishment.  My warmest congratulations to Christina Chateauvert for this outstanding achievement.  I’m pleased to have been a part of her work.


In February, 2003, writer Jason Wilson contacted me for an article on the greeting card industry he was doing for the Washington Post Sunday Magazine.  While the focus would be on the bigger companies and their staff writers, he also wanted the point-of-view from an independent, freelance writer.  I happily agreed and my comments were part of his article in that prestigious Sunday Magazine.


Following close on the heels of that interview, the BBC came calling.  Radio Five’s Dotun Adebayo Show needed a greeting card writer to set hearts aflutter for Valentine’s Day and together, on the air, Dotun and I “wrote” several Valentine’s Day verses and had a grand time doing so.  Hopefully, sweethearts around the world were able to borrow my lines to endear themselves to their Valentine.  Even better, I was able to get a copy in the form of a WAVE file and since I alerted my son beforehand, he and his friends listened to the broadcast as well.  (No one believed that “Mom” would be on the BBC!)


Within the next week, I’d received a phone call from The Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine’s Dawn Fallik.  She was putting together an article on greeting cards and needed a freelancer’s perspective on the industry, where it had been and where it was going.  The ensuing article was an in-depth one and right on target.


If you happened to buy The National Examiner’s Special Double Issue dated April 29, 2003, you would have seen my smiling face looking back at you as part of a  special 27-Page inset on home-based businesses.  Among the other areas featured, such as Child Care, Tutoring, Sewing and Cooking, there I stood, my card spinner in the background and received a nice write-up on greeting card writing from home.  Again, as fate would have it, I was smack-dab in the middle of the magazine, to the left of the staples.  Probably my only shot at being a centerfold...


When I received an email from the editor of Ferguson’s Careers In Focus, I was stunned.  In their Second Edition of Entrepreneurs, they intended to include a chapter on Greeting Card Designers and Writers.  They asked if I’d be willing to be interviewed for this series that resides on school library shelves across the country, from Grades 5-12.  You bet I would!  There’s no better feeling than helping young people who are discovering and exploring what they want to do with their lives.  The book came out in early 2004.  Could I have turned some students into greeting card writers?  I hope so!


Along these same lines, freelance writer Wendy Bruttomesso approached me to do an interview for the children’s magazine, Hopscotch.  Geared for a somewhat younger crowd than Careers In Focus, nevertheless, my philosophy is “you can never be too young...or too old to write greeting cards!”


An email came my way two months ago from the producer of Los Angeles’ The Valentine Show in the Morning.  This Clear Channel Communication Program is available in 19 markets to over 2.5 million listeners.  Together, with host Sean Valentine and his crazy cohorts, we wrote several greeting card verses.  Even though I felt I was in the midst of a Marx Brothers film (and I was a slender version of foil Margaret Dumont!), we had a blast.  I’ve been informed I’m their “official greeting card guru.”  Do I smell a repeat on-air invitation?  Time will tell!


A repeat on-air invitation came last week in the form of the BBC.  This time the producer of Radio 4’s Shop Talk has asked me to join in a round-table discussion of the greeting card industry.  As the only American and the only writer to be present, I’m confident I’ll learn much from the other participants, as well as being able to bring my own insights to the table.  This show is scheduled to air Tuesday, October 12th.  As the old saying goes, “Mark Your Calendars!”


Those of you familiar with know it’s one terrific source for networking among publishers, artists and writers.  When Patricia Fry approached me for an interview, I was honored.  She asked excellent, pointed questions that allowed me to give a full, complete picture of today’s greeting card industry and the creative folk who reside therein.  The interview was posted several weeks ago.


So, I think, finally, we’re all caught up!  No, wait.  In between time, I’ve managed to start Sandy Lynn Books, LLC and update my book, A Few, Choice Words: Short, “Do-able” Writing That Sells.  I’m really proud of this Second Edition and even though it’s only been available since June 2004, it’s already sold more copies than I could ever have anticipated.  Speaking of selling, yes, I’m making it easier for you to order on the site via Pay Pal.  Their security hoops, as many of you know, are many and complex—especially to this totally non-techie!  As far as I can tell, I have one more hoop to jump through in the form of a missing number—once that’s been provided, you’re set to order anything on the Ordering Page of the site through Pay Pal.  This should be completed by early October.  To those of you who grit your teeth, write your checks and go through the trouble of sending your order snail mail, Bless Your Heart!  I mean that sincerely—I know I haven’t made it convenient to order.


In addition, I’ve added a booklet—Creative Calling Cards: Résumés And Bio Blurbs For Writers—that tackles the issues of writing résumés and biographical blurbs.  In addition, next month will bring another booklet, entitled Cover Vs. Query Letters: Allies In The Challenge Of Getting Published.  There are two types of cover letters and one type of query—and based on the amount of emails I receive asking about the similarities and differences between the two, a low-priced booklet on the subject is long overdue.


And what's coming in the future?  I'm in the midst of planning a complete card line for an existing greeting card company and once that makes its debut, I'll tell you all about it.  In addition, there's the little matter of writing a Second Edition of my book:  Write Well & Sell: Greeting Cards, that continues to sell beyond my wildest expectations.  I’m also planning a workbook that is greeting card related and have started a mentoring service for would-be greeting card writers.  I continue to teach online at three locations:, (where I’m also Vice-President and Coordinator of the online classes there) and


I hope you looked at this column as a heartfelt sharing, rather than a bragfest.  I sit at my desk everyday and work; emails come in, the phone rings.  I truly never expect what comes my way, but I’m grateful to be able to share the wonderful world of greeting card writing to all who seek it.  If you’ve checked this column throughout the past months and been disappointed by its lack of update, I don’t blame you.  I’ll try to do better.


Am I forgiven?


I wish you all good things in your individual creative pursuits.





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