For the Creative Worker
WRITING FOR PROFIT—There are such vast numbers of books and short stories published each year in this country that the demand for good writing is considerable. Even the amateur writer is rewarded from time to time by seeing his story actually in print. If you are one of the millions who thinks that he has writing ability; if the urge to write is very strong and if you must write, there is only one way to find out whether you actually possess that God-given gift and that is to continue submitting manuscripts to editors and literary agents. You will find out in time whether you possess sufficient ability to earn money at writing. It is likewise important to know where to send your manuscripts so that they may receive the proper consideration. For example, a story that is suitable for True Story Magazine should not be submitted to the American Mercury.
The beginner will find it more satisfactory to submit his manuscript to a literary agent who, as a rule, is always on the lookout for new writers. The literary agent will know where the manuscript will receive the best consideration. The following is a list of the leading agents:
Brandt and Brandt, 101 Park Avenue, New York City.
If you prefer to send your manuscript direct to editors and publishers the following reference will prove very helpful:
MANUSCRIPT MARKET GUIDE. Published quarterly by A. N. Kane, Editor and Publisher, Highland Falls, N.Y. (This is a quarterly directory is an alphabetical list of editorial requirements of American magazines that pay for contributions. Each market is rated as to desirability.)
WRITING HUMOROUS ARTICLES AND JOKES—If you possess a keen sense of humor and a natural knack for saying funny things. In other words, if you have a sense of the ridiculous, capitalize this gift by writing jokes and short humorous skits for magazines and newspapers. Study the various magazines at your public library and get an idea of the best ones for your type of humor.
CARTOONING—Do you like to draw? Have you a good sense of humor? If you combine these two qualities, you possess practically everything that a cartoonist must have. Begin to create cartoons and mail them to newspaper syndicates. You may have the creative ability that will bring you success in this field. You will never know your capabilities until you have mailed out a number of cartoons to a number of syndicates. The following companies syndicate cartoons:
Bell Syndicate, 63 Park Row, New York City.
BECOME AN AMATEUR MOVIE MAKER—The development and reduced price of movie cameras has opened up an entirely new field for spare time money making.
An enterprising camera enthusiast could find a wide range of material to select from among the many activities of his home town or suburb. Films taken of a group of children at play in the school yard, or of the home baseball team in action, or the boy scout or girl scout groups camping, scenes on the main street, etc.
A large cellar or attic could easily be converted into a model theatre where these films could be exhibited by charging 5 to 10 cents admission.
For example, a film showing 20 or 30 school children at play would be of sufficient interest to the mothers of those children so that they would be glad to pay the small admission fee, accompanied by their children, say, on a Saturday afternoon.
In addition to showing movies of local interest, the amateur movie maker could rent a number of featured releases and make his movie show much more interesting, and even charge a higher admission fee.
A letter addressed to the Amateur Cinema League, Inc., 105 West 40th St., New York City, will bring the reader a list of free films which can be rented without charge except for payment of postage.
The following is a list of companies which rent interesting films:
Apex Films, Inc., 723 7th Ave., New York. Comedies and cartoons.
AN ENTERTAINMENT BUREAU—This makes a splendid side line for a musician, small storekeeper, or a struggling professional man.
All that is necessary in this work is to contact clubs, lodges, churches, and fraternal organizations and recommend certain entertainment talent for their social meetings, or as a means of raising charity funds or any of the other worthwhile funds that are constantly being raised for various social institutions.
Keep a list of all the available talent in your own and neighboring communities. At times it is worth while to employ the better type talent from the city booking agencies, so that when you are called upon to recommend talent for any of the affairs above suggested you will be able to outline a program of entertainment immediately and have a contract signed without delay.
This work is interesting and pays well. A percentage of what the artists are paid is set aside as your commission.
In a small town the operator's solicitation should cover a large section of neighborhood territory as well. In a large city it is more advisable to adopt a specialty and concentrate on that kind of talent.
The following references will be found of value in helping you to conduct a profitable entertainment bureau:
Money Making and Merry Making Entertainments. By E. J. Rook. The Penn Company, Philadelphia, Pa.
Practical Parties. By E. S. Bowles. The Woman's Press, New York City.
MONEY FROM PUPPETS—If you have dramatic ability and at the same time skilled in the mechanics of fashioning figures, you have a field to work in which has marvelous possibilities. Make puppets fashioned after the Punch and Judy shows. You will find a ready audience of children once a week. During the summer pack up your puppets and travel around from camp to camp. Most boys' and girls' camps will engage you for an evening's performance.
Write to the Drama Book Shop, 48 West 52nd St., New York; City, for information.
IF YOU ARE MUSICAL AND CAN SING—(1) If you play the piano, you can earn money in several ways—by teaching, by accompanying singers at concerts or at church meetings, at small receptions or playing for dancing teachers.
(2) Organize a dance orchestra in your community. You will be very much in demand to play for dances that are given by the various clubs, lodges and parties. Send announcements of your terms to the entertainment committees of the many clubs.
(3) If you have a good singing voice enlist in your church choir. Some churches pay for this work. If your voice is good enough to entitle you to be the church soloist you will be paid. This is good training and may lead to the concert stage in time.
(4) It will pay you also to study the technique of singing for a while. This will enable you to give singing lessons.
(5) If you play any of the string, brass, or wind instruments you will be able to find some part time work with theatre, movie, or dance orchestras.
(6) If you have mechanical ability as well as a "natural ear for music" you can easily master the art of piano and organ tuning. Many musicians possess a native mechanical ability. Once you have mastered this art you have the alternative of going after customers of your own or find employment with a music firm. Pianos should be tuned at least every six months. A clientele of only fifty will bring you a good income.
Orchestral Instruments and What They Do. Daniel Mason. Published by H. W. Gray Co., New York.
Music Appreciation for the Student. J. L. Erb. Published by G. Schirmer, New York.
IF YOU DANCE—(1) If you understand the various phases of music and dancing start a class in progressive dancing for children. The latest fad that is springing up is schools for rhythm for children. Here the conventional dancing school for children is taboo. The children are instructed chiefly in developing natural rhythm and poise.
(2) If you are acquainted with the modern ballroom dancing you can build up a successful school for the young men and women. If you conduct small classes you can do so at your own home.
(3) If you are more ambitious and not satisfied with smaller classes you can start a regular dancing academy, with a hall, an orchestra, checking room, refreshment concession, etc. Charge admission at the door, or sell season tickets. Keep it moving by constantly arranging parties, novelty evenings, prize contests, etc. If you can get the orchestra and the landlord of the hall into a profit-sharing arrangement you will be able to start such a dancing academy without any investment. If your town has not a sufficient population to warrant dancing every evening, Saturday night dances will also prove profitable. Private dancing lessons will give you an added source of income.
(4) Organize dance pageants for your church, school, or community in connection with charity bazaars. Charge a reasonable amount for your time and services. Also organize dances for your social and civic clubs or for charitable institutions and donate one-half of your profits for civic or charitable purposes.
IF YOU ARE A GOOD ORATOR OR LECTURER—If you have ability as a speaker before audiences, you can profit by your native ability in numerous ways:
(1) During political campaigns, you can offer your services to your favorite political party, and go about your district, ward, or constituency delivering political speeches. Often you will be paid at a fixed sum for the entire campaign or so much per speech. When the campaign is waxing furious you will get an opportunity to make as many as ten speeches a day from street corner platforms, from the seat of an automobile or at a town or public hall.
(2) Organize a forum in your community. Then deliver weekly lectures on current affairs. You can hire the high school auditorium, or any of the church vestries, and charge a nominal sum for admission. Or you can offer your services to any of the social and civic organizations to address their weekly or monthly meetings.
(3) Organize a class in public speaking. Many women and men will attend if for no other reason than the poise and fine diction that such a course helps to develop. Members and officers of clubs, professional men, students and women who belong to literary clubs are your best prospects.
(4) Coach or organize an amateur theatrical group in your town. Give amateur theatrical performances. Or if any of the church or social clubs are interested in putting on a benefit theatrical performance you can do all the necessary coaching at a fee or a percentage of the proceeds.
(5) Be a food demonstrator. Food manufacturers will employ you to lecture before women's organizations, demonstrating the virtues of their product. Aluminum ware, stove and household utensil manufacturers will also employ you.
PAINTING PHOTOGRAPHS—If you are artistic and can handle a paint and brush you can earn money painting and retouching photographs. All you need then is a camera and a box of water colors. Approach garden photographers, landscape architects, and even commercial photographers for retouching work. They will find part time work for you.
If you prefer to do your own camera work, take snapshots of gardens, landscapes, and other places of interest in your town. Enlarge the snapshots, color them suitably and sell them by displaying them at a number of community stores.
At Christmas or Easter time, buy some inexpensive cards, color them and offer them for sale.
PAINTING GLASSWARE—The artist who is waiting for recognition and is not quite ready to create his masterpiece can devote some few hours of his day to money making by painting china, glassware, vases, jars, and a number of other items which he can sell easily around Christmas time for gift purposes.
TEACHING ARTCRAFT—Another suggestion for the artistic man or woman is to teach women the art of making artistic novelties for the home. Women admire painted parchment lamp shades, odd pillows, chintzed materials, silk covered shades, etc. Start a class of eight or ten women in your own home, or at the Y.W.C.A., your church, or other institution.
PAINTING FURNITURE—If you can decorate and paint furniture and if you understand the art of paint mixing you can make money redecorating old chairs, porch furniture, dingy old beds, and old cupboards, and numerous other pieces of furniture found in the average home.
Write to any of the leading paint manufacturers whose products are on sale at your local hardware store and they will send you information on color schemes and combinations. You can also obtain from them sample color cards to show to your prospective customers. You will find a great many of them among home owners who invariably possess several pieces of furniture stowed away in an attic or barn. It is amazing what a little paint can do to make old furniture look new.
POSTER MAKING—This is a special art in itself. In the larger cities a poster artist can make as much as $200 for a sketch that may take him only a few hours to make. In smaller towns the field is limited and restricted to posters announcing some church or club event. Local merchants and shops very often recognize the advertising value of an attractive window poster.
REFERENCE: Making Art Pay, Chas. Hope Provost, National Library Press, 110 West 42nd St., New York City.
OILCLOTH CRAFTWORK—Do you remember the days when every kitchen table in the country was covered with an oilcloth cover on which was designed a picture of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, The Grand Canyon or any of our other national wonders?
Then with the growth of our national prosperity, the serviceable oilcloth was discarded and replaced by linens and other expensive substitutes.
Now, with the depreciated national income, the old-fashioned oilcloth is returning, and it is now found in the dining room, living room and porch, for all that is required to clean soiled oilcloth is to wipe it with a damp cloth. The housewife is now only too glad to save on laundry bills.
A woman who is handy with a scissors and brush can through the medium of oilcloth craftsmanship make for herself considerable money.
All she needs is an assortment of various colored oilcloth, a few patterns, and some glue. The work is very quickly done, the main skill needed is in the planning of the designs.
With these she can make the following ten items, for which she will find a ready market by pointing out the economy factors involved:
Oilcloth can be purchased direct from the manufacturer in glossy, plain colors, attractive prints, as well as in tile and other patterns. This oilcloth is then cut up into the above listed items. Then the designs are cut from oilcloth of another color and glued to them. Spaces are left between the parts of the design, giving it somewhat the appearance of a stencil print. It were best not to use large pieces of oilcloth in the design, or to overlap parts of the design, for this would make the work stiff and unwieldy.
The best way of marketing your product would be through women's exchanges, neighbors, friends, or through display at your local general store.
PROOFREADING—If you have any literary inclinations and know your grammar, spelling and punctuation well, you may be able to find work as a part time proofreader. Approach all of the leading printers in the nearest large city to you and offer your services. This work calls for checking up on errors made by the compositor, comparing the proof with the author's manuscript, and noting corrections on the proof with certain special symbols. The symbols can be easily mastered. Refer to any book on printing.
Note: To account for inflation, multiply prices by 8 to 10.