Members of the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party will select a new leader at a convention set for March of 2013, the party announced.

The leadership race will be conducted on March 9, a Saturday, in Saskatoon. The party will hold a general convention on the Friday before and Sunday following the vote.

The official campaign period will be about six months, and begins Sept. 4, party officials overseeing the process said in a news release issued Friday.

The party lost its previous leader, Dwain Lingenfelter, when he resigned after losing the election, and his own seat in the legislature, last November.

Since then, the party has been led by interim leader John Nilson.

The party said the convention will be held at TCU Place, Saskatoon's downtown arts centre.

Deb Higgins, who is chair of the party's leadership contest committee, predicted an "exciting" weekend for party members.

"We expect a diverse field of candidates, thoughtful speeches and lots of energy on the floor as the results of each ballot are announced," she said.

Similar to the last two leadership contests, the party is using a one-member, one-vote process to select the next leader.

Voting may be done in person or using a mail-in ballot, telephone voting or an online system.

Anyone with a valid 2013 NDP membership may vote.

The party said the deadline to purchase memberships will be early in 2013.

"The NDP is a grass roots democratic party and we encourage everyone to get involved and attend the convention," Higgins said. "A leadership race is an opportunity to talk about who is best to lead the NDP, but also an opportunity to talk about our values as a society, and the choices we will make for our province."