York writing students publish two books


Ethan Saks | Staff Writer

Featured Image: The Human Variable by Chris Racknor and Poetic Justice by Arthur Haberman. | Courtesy of Leaping Lions

Leaping Lion Books – a student-run publishing firm operating via York’s WRIT 4004 course in the Professional Writing program – celebrates another year of success. This year, the students have published two books: Poetic Justice by Arthur Haberman, and The Human Variable by Chris Racknor. 

Supervised by professor Mike O’Connor, the firm is operated entirely by York students. The Leaping Lions Facebook page explains that “students handle managing, editing, designing, printing, and promoting a manuscript on behalf of Leaping Lion Books.” 

The WRIT 4004, called the Book Publishing Practicum, focuses on experiential learning. Rather than focusing on theory, lecturing, and exams, the course enables students to learn about the publishing world by organizing and running a publishing firm. Other courses allow students to create articles for major periodical publications, design books, and develop a communications firm.

Professor Marlene Bernholtz is proud of the Professional Writing students, and is confident that the work they have accomplished will guide them later in life. 

“In a course where they are entirely responsible for every stage of the publication process, the students receive a truly experiential education on the challenges and responsibilities associated with the professional writing careers they aspire to achieve,” says Bernholtz.

A book launch was held for The Human Variable, Racknor’s debut novel, on March 13 in the York Bookstore. Unfortunately, the multi-author reading that was scheduled to be held on March 19 in the bookstore was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Readings by Haberman, Racknor, Jan Rehner, and three pther York students were set to take place. This included introductions, a period to mingle and converse, and a book signing towards the end where attendees would have had the opportunity to meet and talk with the authors. 

Haberman’s Poetic Justice is the third installment in his Toronto Justice Series. The novel focuses on Danny Miller and his team, who aim “to bring justice to those who can’t achieve it themselves” by fighting crime and catching criminals. A criminal’s motives are questionable – the novel emphasizes the fact that behind every criminal is a unique life with a story that can be explored. 

Racknor’s The Human Variable focuses on Dr. Shawn Ronin, a disgraced physics professor who struggles to move past the destruction of his ivory tower life. 

When Dr. Ronin attempts to move forward by helping one of his colleagues, he finds himself caught in the midst of a major university scandal, where corruption and ego-driven actions drive the plot forward. The academic world he once knew seems to have changed for the worst, and he takes on the role of private investigator.

 All books will be available for order on Amazon and Kobo. 

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