Albuquerque, New Mexico, September, 28, 2018 — The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (“WFWA”) announced the winners of the third annual STAR Award for Women's Fiction.

General Category

Heather Webb and Hazel Gaynor Last Christmas in Paris (William Morrow, 2017)

Outstanding Debut

Kathleen Barber Are You Sleeping (Gallery, 2017)

If you would like more information about either of these titles or to be put in contact with these authors, please contact MM Finck, VP, Communications, at [email protected].


The winners of the General Category are Heather Webb and Hazel Gaynor for Last Christmas in Paris (William Morrow, 2017).

Last Christmas in Paris is an epistolary love story set during the Great War in which a female journalist in London struggles to make sense of the propaganda at home and her place in this changed world, while her brother and childhood friend grapple with the devastation of war at the Front.




The winner of the Outstanding Debut category is Kathleen Barber for Are You Sleeping (Gallery, 2017)

When a mega-hit podcast reopens the long-closed case of Josie Buhrman’s father’s murder, Josie’s world begins to unravel. Meanwhile, the unexpected death of Josie’s long-absent mother forces her to return to her Midwestern hometown where she must confront the demons from her past—and the lies on which she has staked her future.




One hundred novels of published women’s fiction contended for one of the six Finalist positions in the Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) STAR Award, with three finalists and one winner in each category of General and Outstanding Debut.

Christine Adler, President of WFWA, said, "WFWA is proud to sponsor a contest focused solely on highlighting outstanding women's fiction, and bringing these books the accolades and exposure they deserve in the industry.”

Judges’ decisions are made independently of the WFWA staff and Board of Directors, and deliberations are strictly confidential. The STAR AWARD is open to all women’s fiction authors, regardless of WFWA membership status and limited to the first fifty submissions in each category. To be eligible for the 2018 STAR AWARD, the work must be women’s fiction as defined by WFWA, have been issued an ISBN, and published with a copyright date between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. The first round judges were self-acclaimed readers of women’s fiction. Finalists ascended to a second round judged by librarians.

“The STAR AWARD highlights the best in women’s fiction,” says Anne Pisacano, STAR Award Chairperson. “The demand for these novels continues to grow as readers articulate what they've always enjoyed, as well as their growing interests. Women's fiction is a mirror to the most intimate struggles and longings of its readers. These stories have rightfully earned a respected category in publishing. The winners represent the best in the diverse category of women’s fiction. The work of this year’s entrants spans from commercial to literary.”

The winners were announced at the annual WFWA Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 28, 2018.  

Further details of the STAR Award can be found here.