KMSB "Fox-11 Forum," Sunday, 2/28/10, 7:30 AM

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By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

Host Bob Lee interviews Brenda Viner, co-founder of the Tucson Festival of Books.  The Festival features authors speaking about their work and signing books. 

Viner says the free event includes writing workshops and competitions, panel presentations, live cooking demonstrations, children's activities, storytelling, artists and musicians. She says she and her husband, Bill, created the event in 2009 in an effort to promote literacy in the community.

Viner says workshops will feature local and national authors.  She says local authors Lucille Penner, Lynn Avril and Joan Sandin  are scheduled to discuss the writing of easy readers.  She says national author Donalyn Miller, known as the “Book Whisperer,” will help work with teachers in developing classroom environments that will promote literacy and an interest in reading.  She says Dan Balz, author of  “The Battle for America 2008” and Phil Caputo, who wrote "A Rumor of War,"  his memoir about the Vietnam War, are among a number of New York Times best-selling authors confirmed for the Festival. She says there's a huge family component to this year’s event.  She says it is hoped that children will come and get “energized about literature and reading.”

Viner says last year’s event raised $200,000 for literacy and checks were given to the Literacy for Life Coalition, Reading Seed and to the University of Arizona by the Tucson Festival of Books Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.