Remembering Doug Fortier

Doug Fortier was a true friend of the Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference. He was an enthusiastic MCWC participant year after year, and his generous donations of money, time, and computer skills helped build our programs and support the efforts of people like me. As the editor of MCWC’s literary journal for eight years, I got to experience four other cover designers before Doug volunteered for the job. I was used to an atmosphere of mystery (and occasionally even hostility) surrounding the making of a cover, with little or no discussion re: my preferences. I expected to be kept at a distance.

But Doug insisted on lovely, lively email conversations with rapid responses that always began with some version of, “I’ll get on it right away,” and ended with the question, “What would you change?” His consideration was dazzling! Once, in the final phase of the last journal we produced in print, when I worried about calling for yet another correction, he wrote, “These kinds of things are always an iterative process and never a hassle.” I believed him then and am holding onto his wisdom now. It seems like the perfect attitude for life and pretty much sums up Doug for me: eager to learn, happy to help, forever a servant of change.

Susan Bono