Each year, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers honors one of its published members as its traditionally published Writer of the Year (WOTY) and Independent Writer of the Year (IWOTY). The winners of the awards are members in good standing selected by RMFW's membership from candidates who have been published during the previous calendar year.

How are the Finalists for the WOTY/I-WOTY chosen?

Well you might ask. There are two separate Selection Committees. One for the WOTY, and one for the I-WOTY. Christine Jorgenson chaired the WOTY Selection Committee, and Monica Poole chaired the I-WOTY Selection Committee. Each committee had from five to seven members, all of whom are members of RMFW. Some published, some pre-published. The goal is to bring together a group representative of the diversity within RMFW. As stated in the guidelines listed on the first page, each committee has a number of things that they look at and consider when choosing the three finalists.

In addition to considering the specific work submitted by each nominee, the committees also looked at the entire body of work. Some of the finalists have more books than others—some have been writing for many more years than others! Generally, eligibility is determined by whether a nominee has written a book in the past year. This year, for the Independent WOTY, the Board allowed for two years of eligibility when considering work. In 2017, and going forward, both the WOTY and the I-WOTY will consider work published the previous year.

In speaking with the Committee Chairs, this was not an easy decision. There was a healthy pool of candidates for each award, and both Chairs have commented that they were extremely impressed with the quality of writing from our members.

Congratulations to all six finalists! The vote for both the WOTY and the I-WOTY will open to the entire membership of RMFW in May, and close in June. The announcement for both awards will be made in July. In August, Susan Spann, the 2015 Writer of the Year ,will host a discussion panel for all the finalists and winners at the Tattered Cover. Watch for the emails with specifics!