Write On Series

Have a story and seeking advice on how to express your thoughts to page or are you looking to launch your own book and learn about some local reads? Get instruction from local and regional authors who have amassed a myriad of storytelling abilities and writing skills. Learn the critical components of the written word, such as research, outlining, editing, revising, organization, and publication. Lengthen your ‘paper trail’ using captivating narratives from various sagacious writers, journalists, and publishers. Wield and weave your words with us at the Stratford Perth Museum!


BOOK LAUNCH: Bright Lights Black Stars


Date: Monday, August 28 2023

Time: 7 PM – 8:30 PM

Price: FREE

Location: Stratford Perth Museum

Event Description: Meet and hear directly from the author, Paul Allen, and the hits and misses during his baseball journey. Catch how our fields formed some local dreams and made some a reality.

Book Synopsis

Bright Lights Black Stars, a non-fiction historical baseball story, follows Negro League baseball players in Canada’s oldest baseball league, the Intercounty Baseball League (IBL 1919), and was released the end of June according to author Paul Allen. The book is available on Amazon now.  London Majors, Friends of Labatt Park, and the Majors Alumni Association hosted the first book launch June 30th at London, Ontario’s Labatt Memorial Park, the world’s oldest continuously played baseball field. The park is featured on the cover of the book. Allen – a former two-time London IBL All  Star – introduces readers to pre-IBL southwestern Ontario’s players and teams including the 1934 Chatham Coloured All Stars, the first all-black team  to capture a provincial championship. Allen then follows the 1948 London Majors’ march to the Canadian Championship and their  thrilling Can-Am North American National Congress victories over the American national champions, the  Fort Wayne General Electrics.

The book has a great connection to both the IBL and the rich history of the Stratford Intercounty baseball teams.  Allen acknowledges there is coverage of several Stratford players, batting champions George Miskimmons (1947), Billy Flick (1953), and an entire chapter on the legendary Harry Fisher, a star player who first played for Stratford in 1947 before moving on eventually to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Stratford was a founding member (1919) of the IBL.

About the Author: Paul Allen

Allen, who is now 81, credits a London Majors and Brantford Red Sox reunion for motivating him to write the story of the great players who preceded him in the league.  Allen acknowledged veterans Tom Burgess, Russ Evon, John Ambrose, Gabby Anderson, and long-time coach Norm Aldridge, as the ones who regaled him with stories of pre and post-World War II players that stayed in his mind for years. Allen said, “those IBL years are a bygone era of baseball and I thought this story of Negro League players and their white teammates is really an integrated success story that must be told.”

Book Reviews

Scott Ellsworth, New York Times best-selling author of The Secret Game agreed and wrote: “BRIGHT LIGHTS BLACK STARS” vividly captures the forgotten saga of how Negro League ballplayers transformed Canadian baseball in the 1940s and 1950s. Richly detailed, poignant, and often hilarious, author Paul Allen—a former ballplayer himself—doesn’t just resurrect long-forgotten seasons of glory, and players who threw smoke and hit homers “that they are still looking for.”  He has also brought back to life a fascinating and truly significant moment in baseball history.”

Among other quality endorsements, former MLB pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos, Bill “Spaceman” Lee wrote the Foreword to the book. The book has attracted praise from notable figures in the baseball and sports world. These include Tom Gamboa, former coach of the KC Athletics and Chicago Cubs, Scott Crawford, the director of operations of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, Frank Cosentino, a former Canadian Football quarterback & CFL Hall of Fame member, Cecil Wright, a director of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, Barry Boughner, president of the London Majors Alumni Association & former NHL hockey player, and Ed Heather, a former Toronto Blue Jays scout. It should be noted that Gamboa was a player/manager for Stratford in the early 1970s.  Former IBL batting champion, Brian Pearen said: “I felt I was sitting in the stands and was a part of the many exciting games these guys played.” 

Where to Purchase

The Kindle version and paperback version of BRIGHT LIGHTS BLACK STARS is available now on Amazon.ca and on Amazon.com in the USA. Canadian Kindle version costs $9.99 and the paperback containing many pictures and 488 pages is a bargain at $25.59 CDN. However as a special promotion, books purchased during the author’s personal appearances are available at $20.00 CDN.






A Little Bit About Ghosts and Why Everyone Should Write

Date: Saturday, March 11 2023

Time: 1 PM – 3 PM

Supplies: All Included

Project: Paranormal Tales and How to Launch Your Ideas

Price: $20.00 (Click Here for Tickets)

Location: Stratford Perth Museum


Workshop Outline

  1. Warm Up Remarks
  2. A Little Bit About Me
  3. My Books
  4. My Pal Walter and GHOSTS
  5. Why You Should Write!i) The special powers you developii) How to get startediii) The tools
  6. How to Get Started.
  7. Miscellany
  8. Question-and-answer session


Workshop Leader: Ron Finch

Ron Finch was born in London, Ontario in 1942. He taught mathematics and physics and eventually became a Perth County secondary school principal. In August 2017, a month after his 75th birthday, he started writing this first book, Lighting at 200 Durham Street. Since that time, he has published several more books in the Joel Franklin Mystery series. Currently he has over 30 completed unpublished manuscripts in his office ready to be edited. He is currently working on books 44 and 45. He has been a resident of Stratford for the past several years.

Ron Finch’s Published Works and More

What my books are about!

My first 40 books were mysteries.

They are centred around a young hero Joel Franklin and his wife Georgie and their family. Aside from the mysteries he is involved in there’s a family life where there are good times and bad times, funerals, diseases, dementia and cute little babies. Some wonderful moments and some terrible moments. These events move from book to book just as life goes on day by day.

My books reference events that are occurring in the world so course in the books written about 1939 and later the events of the WWII are hovering in the background.

Lightning at 200 Durham

Early 1900s Cocaine and Ice Houses

Sleep Disorder and Stratford’s Famous Strike

Work CampsNB not published yet

St. Mary’s Cement & More