The Literary Tarot

Created by Brink Literacy Project

A Tarot Deck Unlocking the Secrets of Classic Literature—join us as we delve into the libraries of history, unearthing secrets of the cosmos through the wisdom of our favorite classic stories… Join an all-star team of beloved authors—including Margaret Atwood, Stephen Fry, Roxane Gay, Patrick Rothfuss, and Celeste Ng—as they pair literary works with each card in the tarot, unlocking the secrets of the arcana through the world's most powerful stories. All proceeds from this store go toward our nonprofit mission to increase literacy rates, nurture emerging and marginalized voices, and help people living on the brink to unlock the potential inside themselves! Brink Literacy Project is a 501(c)(3) & Scottish Registered Charity

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Stephen Fry, Fulfillment News, & Booster Votes!
11 months ago – Tue, Jun 29, 2021 at 12:39:15 AM

Hello lovely backers!

The day has come! We are less than 48 hours from the end of the campaign! And we’re geared up to make the most of it!

First, let’s share some stellar news! I’m overjoyed to welcome these fine new literary folks to the ranks. It’s madness to see so many of my literary heroes in one line up. Damn!

Man, I’m so distracted by that graphic that I keep forgetting how to type. FOCUS DANI!


After an incredible weekend, spurred on by the 2.5 hour long livestream chat I had with Patrick Rothfuss (if you didn’t join us yesterday, you can watch the video here), we knocked through yet another stretch goal:

Woot! Helen has finally done it! Here’s the skinny on your cheaper international shipping straight from the lassie’s typing fingers:

“Hello friends! We have officially found an option that will allow us to partner with a series of warehouses around the world to drive down the shipping costs for our international backers! As such, I’ve updated the shipping estimates tables accordingly. Since this is based on shipping NOW (instead of next year), I can’t give you the exact penny pricing, but the fulfillment center assures me these are close estimates. But the stonking good news is that this will drive down prices AND ensure all our volunteers’ fingers don’t fall off sending out thousands of decks! Your wallets and our fingers are STOKED.” -Helen

Up next, we’re making all your decks just a bit swankier AND more functional by adding a wee ribbon to your deck holders. Not only will this make these shiny book boxes look EVEN MORE like old tomes pulled from some ancient library, but it will also make it infinitely easier to get the deck out of the box!


Speaking of the booster pack, THANK YOU ALL for all of your incredible pairing options. We’ve pored through all of them, checked them for copyright status, and put all the suggestions that were in the public domain in the following Google Poll.

For anyone interested, please get your votes in by midnight PT tomorrow (June 29th).

Small note: Yes, we will include the meaning of the boosters in the big book and free pdf of said big book, so everyone who pledges for digital access or higher will get them!


Aside from rolling out rad stretch goals, answering all your questions, and running endless Kickstarter tech support, our main goal during these last two days will be to get the word out about the campaign! All our authors and artists and editors will be doing posts, and we’ll be calling our grandmothers and accosting strangers at the coffee shop, but if any of you are interested in helping us get the word out, we’d be hella grateful.

1) If you’re active on Twitter, please Tweet out this URL, along with a short note about why you are excited to support this project:

Make sure to tag @LiteraryTarot (and/or a favorite author) so we can RT!

2) If you are on Facebook, please share that URL far and wide, along with a quick note about why you are backing this campaign!

3) If you are on Instagram and want to spread the word, steal any fun art from the campaign and tag our publishing kiddos (@frictionseries) along with the #LiteraryTarot (so we can help boost!)

4) If you’re not on social media, you are making great life choices and we are full of envy!


And you thought I’d get through a whole update without showing you art! AND YOU’D BE WRONG! Let the guessing game begin on these beauties!

Thank you all for an incredible 28 days. So excited to finish strong and so incredibly grateful for all your support and enthusiasm. Woot!


Dani, Helen, and the Brinkeroos

Tarot Cloths, Fulfillment Update, and Lev Grossman’s Pairing Logic
11 months ago – Sat, Jun 26, 2021 at 01:36:36 AM

Hello lovely backers!

TWO NEW stretch goals have been knocked down, so now artist Edge will NOT ONLY be designing us a swanky new book design for the Big Guidebook, but she’ll also get to gold foil that baby up!

Which means it’s time to talk about our next big goal!

New Stretch Goals

For our next stretch goal, we are so excited to reveal something Sam and I have been cooking up all week, based on the suggestions from all your comments. Get ready for a swanky Tarot Cloth!

This gorgeous 20x20 inch flannelette cloth will be silk-screen printed with our beautiful Literary Tarot design pictured above (didn’t Sam just rock that?). I know there is a fair share of tarot-newbies here, so for anyone who’s like “what the hell is a tarot cloth?” it’s a lovely piece of fabric that you lay your cards on top of for a reading. We’ll be unlocking this add-on at $600k for $10. For anyone at the Patron Package level, fret not: you get this added automatically!

Fulfillment News

Helen’s been meeting with everyone and their grandmothers about fulfillment, and she has some good news to report. By partnering with international staffers, we can significantly drive down our shipping costs for Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. As such, we’ve updated our wee table of shipping estimates!

What about shipping to other countries? Helen’s working ferociously on that too. She will hopefully have this all worked out before the campaign ends (as she’s dedicated her week to just stalking the fulfillment centers!). MORE SOON! And thank you for your patience.

Peek Inside the Big Guidebook

As promised, I’m back with a dive into the Big Guidebook. Lev Grossman has been generous enough to allow us to preview his pages early for you all (though we are still toying around with finding the PERFECT quote from Sir Malory, so that might change before we finalize). For anyone who has been following the project since we started pairings back in January, you’ll know that Lev was the very first celeb to sign onto the project, and I’m so tickled by the innovative angle he took for King Arthur:

Since I’m also bananas about the art Sam did for this piece, I thought you all might enjoy a wee glimpse at the process (that I probably shouldn't have stayed up all night making, but I got TOO EXCITED!):

You can also see a full process video of the 20+ WIPs Sam toyed with to make Lev’s card here.

Booster Voting Schedule

So no one misses out on voting for the Boosters, we’re gonna lay out a schedule to make sure everyone can weigh in!

For the Lovers Card, suggested pairings will end tonight at midnight PT. If you wanna add new suggestions, please do so in the comments of Update #6.

With just one week left of the campaign, we’ve opened up the rest of the booster pack suggestions (for Death, The Star, The Magician, and The Moon) in the General Comments. For the sake of organization, we’ve added four comments that are labeled “BOOSTER PACK VOTES” and then the name of each card. If you could add your suggestions as replies to each corresponding comment, that would be AMAZING. The deadline for these four cards is Sunday (27th) at midnight PT.

We will then compile all the most popular pairings into Google polls so everyone can vote before the campaign ends!

Thank you all for your excitement about this booster. We are all enjoying reading all your suggestions and I love the push toward diverse pairings. Really a joy to read!

New Card Reveals

Last thing! 13 Dimension and Comic Beat did lovely reveals of several new cards. For anyone who wants to play the guessing game, here you go…

For anyone who wants to cheat at the guessing game, here’s the 13 Dimension and Comic Beat articles!

Thank you all for your continued support! So excited to reveal more cards and something very cool we have cooking up with Pat Rothfuss.

But Wait, There's More! 

Last thing, friends! We stumbled on another campaign that’s running right now that we really dig. Creative Brendan Marnell (who actually did a card for Seven’s Alleyman deck) launched a really beautiful tarot deck inspired by the natural wonder of the Pacific Northwest. The art is stunning and immediately made me miss the years I spent bouncing around those rain-soaked forests. Here’s a look at the art, all done by Brendan:

If this sparks some PNW nostalgia in your heart, please give it a look. The guidebook even includes a little short fiction for each card, and the two foxes for the Lovers make me smile every time I see them!


Dani, Helen, and the Brinkeroos

New Stretch Goals, Booster Update, and a Smidge of Tech Support!
11 months ago – Sat, Jun 19, 2021 at 02:04:55 AM

Hello lovely backers!

Wow, what a DAY yesterday. Thank you all so much for your enthusiasm about our big, collector’s book. YOU ALL ARE AMAZING.

We just wanted to jump in quickly both to say THANK YOU and to give you an update about the stretch goals. From your comments,  we know that a lot of you are considering the Patron Level so we wanted to get you a glimpse ahead, especially before the early bird tier ends on Monday, June 21. Of course, it's our hope to be able to add more cool swag to this tier over the course of the campaign.


Our goal for the remaining 11 days is to alternate between creating new items for everyone and swanking out the big book for you avid collectors—so it’s just as sparkly as your decks!

In that light, our next two goals are Big Book focused. First off, instead of using the same design for our deck on the big box, Edge (the amazing artist who did the box and mini-guidebook design AND the ink suit cards) will be creating a new design 100% for scratch to be oh-so unique and beautiful.

If you’re curious, here’s some of the references we are tossing around between us. We’re going for that cool leather-bound-classics look (Don’t worry, we won’t actually use leather!).

(references from Barnes and Noble Classics and Easton Press)

Which leads me to our next goal (because few things make Edge happier than designing with foil in mind):

For anyone who already snagged the big book (either as an add-on or in the Patron Tier) these stretch goals won’t increase your pledge amount. Everyone getting the physical big book will just get a SWANKER one automatically.


Thank you all so much for your messages about how to add the Big Book on or how to change to the Patron Package. I added this write-up to the FAQ page, but I wanted to update you all here too. Here’s the step-by-step (courtesy of Seven’s Alleyman campaign that LoopyCat drew up for them):

1. Click on the green "Manage your pledge" button on this campaign page on the top right corner. Click on it.

2. You're taken to a page where you can change your payment details. Scroll down, at the bottom, click on "Change Your Pledge" (yes, I know it doesn't sound right, but it's the correct one, I promise).

3. You are taken to a page where you first simply reconfirm your pledge that's already highlighted (click on the "Pledge [whatever $ amount it is]" button).

4. THEN you are finally taken to the page where you can add stuff. Add your items, then click CONFIRM.

5. Another page comes up with your pledge and added items and new total, click to CONFIRM.

You can check to make sure you got things right by simply opening a new tab and going to the Literary Tarot campaign to check your pledge amount at the top of the page (and of course checking for your email confirmation from Kickstarter).

NOTE: For anyone who pledged in the first 24-hours of the campaign for an EARLY BIRD tiers, Kickstarter has informed us there is a bug that's making it difficult for you all to add things. If you are struggling with this, please drop us a message and we can shoot over a custom url they supplied us with to skip the bug!


Don’t think we’ve forgotten about your Booster packs! We’re utterly blown away by all your suggestions for the Lovers Card, and Helen will be back with you all next week to lay out a concrete schedule and plan for how and when we will vote on all the pairings.

Alright, dear backers, we’ll be back next week to give everyone a wider look at the upcoming stretch goals, fulfillment options, and your boosters when Helen rejoins the world of the living on Monday (fingers crossed). In the meantime, I’m gonna try to buckle down with the artist team to make sure we have many more cards to show you next week, so I will be a wee bit slow to answer comments or messages until Helen is back to help! But we will answer any questions you have, even if our responses slow until Monday when we’re back.

Have an incredibly lovely weekend and thank you SO MUCH for your continued support and general awesomeness. Your kind and excited messages bring us all so much joy!


Dani, Helen, and the Brinkeroos!

Big Book, Free PDF, and Guidebook Logic
11 months ago – Fri, Jun 18, 2021 at 02:53:47 AM

Hello lovely backers!

And we’ve unlocked another stretch goal! The Big Guidebook is now unlocked!

However, before we get into talking about what all is in this new, big guidebook, we want you to know that we hear you. What drew you to this deck were the artist pairings, the literary classics, just all that literary-ness of the project as a whole. So there are two things we want to clarify.

First, because you've reminded us of what part of this project drew you in, we will be giving away a PDF of this larger, fancier, deeper guidebook to all backers getting a deck (including the $10 Digital Only tier) for free.

Second, we want to help clarify how the mini guidebook already shares the hard work of these amazing authors and why they made their pairings. The mini guidebook is not just a Rider-Waite rewrite; each entry is written by the author who made the pairing, explaining what the card means through the lens of the classic they chose.

That's right, the little guide is already sharing—with the author's own words—what the card means, and through that, why they feel the text matches the card. This is explaining the pairing through creative writing (what, of course, these authors do best).

The fact that this many amazing wordsmiths combined to donate over 1,000 hours of their time to help us raise money for charity is a beautiful, staggering sign of just how incredible and generous the community can be.

Our authors have worked incredibly hard on these entries, and we are humbled and honored that they would take so much time—rereading their classics, pouring over the card’s history—all so they could distill that magic into entries that hopefully enchant seasoned tarot readers, but also create a welcoming and inclusive route for new people to get engage with the wonder of tarot.

Please understand we're not just giving you standard meanings from a Google search. The mini guidebook is a work of love and literature just as much as the deck itself.


What the larger guidebook book shares is further information on the more granular process of getting to that point and full-page art (which you can read all about in the next section, because we are SO EXCITED ABOUT IT). It's what our advisors suggested, what the author came to us with originally, and how we worked together to pair it down to a single card and a single literary classic.

So if you want to see what pairing they made and how the author feels they match, that's already inherently part of the mini guide, as they wrote the card meanings themselves with their pairing in mind.

The larger book goes deeper into how the pairing happened, and while we can't just offer the larger guide for free as a hardcopy (it was not factored into the cost of the base deck pledge), we are more than happy to share it as a PDF to all of you so you don't feel like you're missing out on the behind-the-scenes action.

We're sure a few of you are asking why we don't just fit the extra info in the mini guide. The pairing information added to the larger guidebook is already larger than the entire card meaning that just perfectly fits in the mini guide. To fit it, we'd have to at least triple the thickness of the little book, and we still wouldn't be able to fit a full page of art in there to go with. That's just not a reasonable ask of a little guidebook, unfortunately.

The mini guide will have what you need to read your deck, while the larger book, whether in the free PDF or in the add-on hardcopy, can help you appreciate the art with larger clarity and learn more about this very fun and awesome process.


Now that we’ve discussed the mini guidebook, let’s look at the big old collector’s edition! This is a big, beautiful book for the ultimate collector. It combines full page art (because our team of artists have been working their bums off to create these gorgeous cards and they deserve to be seen in all their sparkling detail), the meaning from the mini-guidebook, a quote from the classic that reflects the pairing, and a behind-the-scenes look at how each author and our tarot advisors worked to create the pairing.

Here’s a look at how that looks on the page:

This big old book will also include pages before each suit that explain the renaming, how-to-guide to setting up a reading (for anyone new to the world of tarot), and a glimpse of how we created the look and feel of the collection. (The mini guide also talks about the suit renaming, no worries!)

This larger guidebook will be 6x9 inches, hardback, with high-quality full color glossy pages (approx. 180 pages+). It’s available for $30 as an add-on or you can snag it in the Patron’s Tier, that just opened MOMENTS AGO, in which will get you EVERYTHING this campaign offers, including the entire F(r)iction digital back catalogue (which is, to say the least, a lot of books) and all new stretch goal items (even if they are add-ons) will be automatically added to this tier for FREE!

And because we want to thank everything you have been supportive early on, we’re going to have an Early Bird special for this tier—from now through end of day Monday (PT)—to make it easier for all of you who really want to go above and beyond to support this project!

We'll also show off some of our pages next week (which we couldn't be MORE excited about!).

Thank you all for your enthusiasm for this project and for the cause that it supports. We are very moved by your support and excited to continue unlocking new elements of this project to enhance your pledges.

We believe in storytelling for its incredible power to bring people together, to spark empathy, and to make us kinder, more inclusive humans. Thank you for being a part of that.


Dani, Helen, and all the Brinkeroos

P.S. Helen has been working her tail off to get some new fulfillment options for you all, but she got very ill this week (poor thing), so we’re aiming to have some good news for you next week. Thank you for your patience as we try to make this cheepier for you all!

Guidebooks Galore!
11 months ago – Fri, Jun 18, 2021 at 01:03:29 AM

Hellllooo lovely backers!

Helen here, Boss Lady #2! I’m jumping in with a wee update as Dani is running all over the shop today doing her usual day-to-day job for Brink Literacy Project as well as cramming in some podcast interviews for this project. A lot of you have raised some great questions about the guidebooks that we wanted to answer for you ASAP!

Mini Guidebook Versus Big Art Guidebook

We have not communicated as clearly as we intended about the differences between our mini guidebook versus the bigger art guidebook. Apologies for the confusion caused, and hopefully this update will help to clarify matters!

Mini Guidebook

This is a 92-page booklet with one page per card. Each of these pages will be written by the author who developed that pairing telling you what the card means (but written through the lens of the literature that the card was paired with—check out the example below!). It will also include instructions on how to use the deck, including a page per suit to explain the renaming. We can’t stress this enough: you don’t need anything else besides this mini guidebook in order to be able to use the deck for readings.

Big Art Guidebook

The Big Art Guidebook is a bigger version of this guidebook, plus it will also include additional behind-the-scenes info about how we created this deck. Each card will get two pages, spanning full page art, the same card meaning from the mini-guidebook, AND a few additional titbits that look at the process of how the pairing was chosen by each author (including the cards that each author considered and what was important to the author to bring to light when they made their pairing), plus a quote from the work of literature that the author selected that reflects that pairing. This book will also include author biographies and other background info about the deck. You don’t need this book in order to be able to use the deck for readings. This is more of a collector’s item for the ultimate tarot geek, a wonderful mashup of art book + guidebook + behind-the-creation delve. Plus it includes full page art so that you can see the cards in all their illustrative glory!

Other Information

Thank you to everyone for the AMAZING Lovers card suggestions after our most recent update. We have received SO many standout, diverse, unusual suggestions already, which have made us all the more excited to dig into them all and get back to you on this! It’s inspiring!

Finally, we're in the process of putting together a graphic so that we can update it with all the cards that we have revealed, so that you can compare and contrast them more clearly and easily. It's important to note that, as per our FAQ on our campaign page, we’re still in the process of creating the deck. As of right now, we have finished more than 20 cards and we're producing them at a rate of 20-25 cards per month, so we will continue to unveil more incredible pairings and artwork throughout the rest of the campaign as they are completed and released. As a nonprofit, we were not able to create the entire pack before the campaign, as we needed this funding to be secured in order to know that we could even afford to finish the deck, given that first and foremost this product is a fundraising tool for our nonprofit mission.

Thank you all for bearing with us as we work out the kinks in this process. This is the biggest Kickstarter our nonprofit has ever run and we cannot thank you enough for all the incredible support for our mission. We will be back with more news in the next few days!


Helen, Dani, and all the Brinkeroos