Remembering Doug Fortier

Though I only met Doug once, he supported me when I was in a writing slump, where I’d been getting “good ink” on submissions, but nothing was getting picked up. Because of Doug’s generosity, I was awarded the 2018 Doug Fortier Short Fiction Scholarship to the Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference. On the first night, I met him at a social event. He was modest, kind, and encouraging. As part of the Master Class, I worked with Elizabeth McKenzie and a great group of classmates who were writing interesting work. When the time came to workshop my story, the class was enthusiastic and gave helpful feedback. To my surprise, the benefits of attending MCWC kept coming. After revising it a bit, I published the story, “Too Late for Cows,” in Catamaran Literary Reader. Catamaran invited me to read the story at the issue’s launch event, and one of my Mendocino classmates, David Booth, drove from San Francisco to Santa Cruz to attend and support me. Later, the story was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. I’m still in touch with several members of that workshop. Even now, when I feel discouraged about writing, this experience reminds me how one event—attending MCWC because I received Doug’s scholarship—can sometimes yield multiple rewards. All of this is thanks to Doug and his generosity. I’ll always remember him fondly.

Patti Jazanoski
Noyo Review Pieces