The Tucson Festival of Books Committee has raised $200,000 for literacy.

At a recent event, checks were presented to the Literacy for Life Coalition, Reading Seed and the University of Arizona.

"This is the real success of the first Tucson Festival of Book," said Bill Viner, one of the festival's founders. "We are able to significantly help promote literacy in our community."

With more than 50,000 guests, attendance at last year's event "ranked with the top book festivals in the nation," Viner continued. With the Diamond Children's Medical Center signing on as its new presenting sponsor, "we expect that this year's festival will continue to grow and continue to have a positive impact in our community."

Authors J.A. Jance and Elmore Leonard have committed for the 2010 festival. They are among 400 who have said they would come to the March 13-14 event. "We expect to have more major announcements of both new and returning authors very soon," Viner said.

The second annual Tucson Festival of Books will be held on the University of Arizona Mall will continue to fund local literacy efforts. Featured are a large children's area, author presentations and round-tables, book signings, exhibits, food and fun.

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