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:

Sparkly Boxes, Guessing Games, and Brian Michael Bendis Reveal...
about 1 year ago – Tue, Jun 08, 2021 at 12:48:40 AM

Hello again!

Wow, what a week, eh? We blasted through our first THREE stretch goals (woot woot!), broke 6,000 backers, and created such a little social media storm that my face hurts from smiling! And all of this is down to all of you


Honestly, you’re gonna get sick of us saying it, but the love you all have shown for this zany project is incredible. I hope you all know what a huge impact you’re having on our nonprofit work (and our hearts).

Right, enough gushing, let’s get down to the cool stuff!

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how we create the pairings and art, and I got to GUSH about the authors and artists in the following interview with COMICS BEAT. You’ll want to check this out, especially since I reveal the logic behind Celeste Ng’s Hangman pairing.


Check out these beauties, dear friends, and take a stab at their pairings. Lots of people have been asking me about the one on the left (as it’s been revealed on the KS page but not labeled) and the press got their hands on the one on the right (so if you NEED to cheat, you can find the answer in the exclusive art reveal that VOL 1. BROOKLYN snagged).


Speaking of beautiful art, if you're curious about JUST HOW LONG it took Sam (our major arcana artist) and me to figure out the colors and style for this deck, check out this video (it condenses 2 weeks of work into 58 seconds). Tells us which rejected WIP you love the, you know, validate all those hours of failure.


Last week, we upgraded our cards to be thicker and gilded with gold, AND over the weekend, we unlocked our gold book boxes! Since you all are so awesome (and crying for it in the comments), we're gonna break our one-goal-at-a-time rule, and show off the next two...

If we unlock this baby, we're gonna create a system so you all can vote on the cards you'd most like to be turned into these swanky postcards. If you wanna take part in that, please follow @LiteraryTarot on Twitter! 

And next up...


I also know that a lot of you are dying to know what some of your favorite authors are pairing. So we are going to reveal one right now...


You know how I said my face was tired from smiling? Well, here are some of the top contenders for cheek-aching joy:

I know this isn’t a pun on F(r)iction...but I’m gonna pretend it is:

How great is it to see our contributors backing the project?

Thank you all again for being so darn amazing. Your kindness and enthusiasm are infectious and we’re so moved by your support. From the entire Brink team: THANK YOU!


Dani, Helen, and the Brinkeroos!

Stretch Goals, Interviews, Card Backs, oh my!
about 1 year ago – Fri, Jun 04, 2021 at 01:40:16 AM

Hello our dear backers!

We weren’t planning to come back to you all until Friday, but goodness me, the momentum just has NOT slowed down. For that, we have to thank you. So many of you have been sharing the project on social, reaching out to give us your stretch goal ideas, and tagging your friends in our project posts!

Thank you SO MUCH. Honestly, it means the world to us.

Speaking of incredible support, the Eisner-Award-winning WOMEN WRITE ABOUT COMICS, interviewed Dani. Here’s a taste of the very nice things they said about us:

“If there was ever a tarot deck that was designed for avid readers, the Literary Tarot is it. This deck, which is being published by the Brink Literacy Project, aims to seamlessly marry classic and modern literature in an innovative way. Each of the traditional 78 tarot cards represents a piece of classic literature which shares themes with the meaning of the card—and in a beautiful marriage of the old and the new, each of those selections was made by a beloved modern author. And when I say beloved, we’re talking about a star-studded cast of characters here! ”— WOMEN WRITE ABOUT COMICS

Read the whole thing here.

Card Pairing Reveals

Speaking of how smart and awesome you all are, I was blown away by how many of you guessed the cards from yesterday correctly! Here are the full card descriptions:

“The Monkey Paw” as the Three of Quills

Stephen Graham Jones (The Only Good Indians) gives us a taste of ironic, bitter consequences by pairing the Three of Quills, a card all about heartbreak, grief, and loss with the classic short story, “The Monkey’s Paw.” The paw, through which wishes borne from the heart go horribly, terribly wrong for Mr. and Mrs. White, takes center stage as one of the deck’s most iconic minor arcana cards.

“The Pillow Book” as the Nine of Parchment

Sei Shōnagon’s musings on imperial Japan, written more than 1,000 years ago, arrive as a bounty in the Nine of Parchment. Damian Rogers (An Alphabet for Joanna; Dear Leader) links The Pillow Book with the minor arcana card focused on achievement and independence. Just as Sei Shōnagon benefited from the material gifts of the Heian Empire, she gifted the world an unparalleled work covering the high culture, fashion, and poetry of one of history’s great dynasties.

Now to Stretch Goals!

Because we already BLEW PAST those gilded edges (woot woot!), we are on to something that so many of you have messaged us about. That card stock, baby, it’s going UP!

Random Fun Stuff

Here’s some tweets about the campaign that especially tickled us. And not just because Margaret Atwood keeps tweeting about us, damn near making our hearts explode (like, friends, she typed my name the other day. WITH THE SAME FINGERS THAT WROTE THE HANDMAID’S TALE). So, yeah, I’m dying happy…

 Card Backs & Feedback

Also, we have absolutely LOVED getting feedback and ideas from you. Thank you all for your messages, tweets, and owl-delivered letters (okay, fine, we made that last one up!). First up: we hear you on the symmetrical backs. I’ll be sitting down with my art team next week and having a wee think about how to rejigger that middle book on the card backs. More soon!

And finally, we began building out our FAQ section on our campaign page today, and we’ll keep updating it with all the most common queries as the campaign continues.

More soon, dear backers. Thank you again for being so darn wonderful.


Dani, Helen, and all the Brinkeroos!

WHAT a first day!
about 1 year ago – Fri, Jun 04, 2021 at 12:47:47 AM


Imagine the sound of 50+ teachers, editors, artists, and nonprofit staffers (plus our entire team of artists and AMAZING celebrity authors) all squealing in unison. Because that has absolutely been the last 24 hours (yes, we are claiming we ALSO squealed in our sleep).

We are all shocked and awed and humbled by this deluge of incredible support. More than 3,600 of you came out to support not only this beautiful deck, but also the good work our nonprofit will be able to do with the profit from the sales of the Literary Tarot.

Thank you. THANK YOU.

And not only are all of you warming our hearts, the press (what, yes, the press! We feel weird even typing that) also took a fancy. Here’s a few choice features, including an interview where I do some deep dives into the process:

If you’re so inclined, it would be incredibly helpful if you could spread the word and share these stories on social media. If you’re on Twitter, you can follow #LiteraryTwitter and the official @LiteraryTarot account.


Now that we are funded, we can start cranking out all the rad stretch goals we have planned and start revealing more of these gorgeous cards! It’s hard to tell which we are more excited about!

But, hell, given that I personally art direct this madness, let’s start with the cards. Stephanie Perkins has this game where you try to guess the literary pairing before you read about it, so if you wanna do that, here’s the art alone…

I’ll be back in the next update to give you the official pairing spiel, but for now, let’s test that literary canon…

The art team is drawing up a storm each and every day, so we’ll be revealing cards ALL MONTH LONG. I will be sharing the art as we go both through the @LiteraryTarot Twitter account and on my Instagram. Warning: I’m still learning how IG works—because I’m much more comfortable teaching in max-security prison than using social media—but I promised all my artists that I’d try. So…bear with me…

On the upside, I just put up some thumbnails for the Carmilla’s card, and they are so amazing I can’t even focus on this update! WEEEE!


We have a library of fun stretch goals planned, but like reading a great book, we’re going to take them one page at a time. Spoiler: we are planning something that lots of people are clamoring for on social media. If you have ideas for stretch goals, please respond to this update or head to Twitter and be sure to tag @LiteraryTarot!


In addition to @LiteraryTarot, you can also learn more about F(r)iction’s issues and our nonprofit work by following  these accounts.

Thank you all again for joining us on this crazy little adventure. We are all in joyous shock that so many people are excited about this idea, and we are so pumped to share the creation of each and every card with you all!


Dani, Helen, and all the Brinkeroos!