The second day of the Mildura Writers Festival saw the announcement of two prestigious writers' awards.

The first award was announced at the Festival's Feature Luncheon held at the newly refurbished Rowing Club overlooking the picturesque Murray River.  The Tina Kane Emergent Writers Award is proudly sponsored by AESOP.  The $3000 first prize was awarded to Natalie Harkin, an indigenous writer from South Australia.

The Emergent Writers award was established in 2016 in honour of Tina Kane who passed away in 2015 shortly after that year's event.  Tina Kane had a presence and influence on the Mildura Writers Festival over many years and was especially inspiring to young artists.

The Award winner, Natalie Harkin is an academic and activist poet with an interest in colonial archives and aboriginal family records.  Her first poetry manuscript, Dirty Words was published in 2015. 

Ms Harkin, who grew up in regional South Australia has family links to Mildura and warmly shared with the audience tales of her family in and around the region.

The highly sought after and prestigious Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal was the second award announced for the day at a dinner named in Philip's honour at the Mildura Tennis Club. 

The Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal has been and remains a signature of the Mildura Writers Festival and is awarded annually to an Australian writer whose work exemplifies the high standards as was in Philip Hodgins' poetry.

The 2017 Award was presented to Peter Boyle who has published seven books of poetry. 

Mr Boyle's s work has been highly acknowledged with awards including the New South Wales Premiers Prize for poetry and the Queensland Premiers Prize.

The prestigious award includes $5000 in prize money and a specially created "medal' by local artist Jim Curry.

Jim Curry has been commissioned to produce the prestigious "medal" since the awards inception in 1997. 

Each piece is unique and created especially for the award.  His creations embellish the local region and represent what is often overlooked or unseen in our past, present or future. 

This year's "medal" continued that theme with a Mitchells Hopping Mouse skilfully crafted into a stunning bronze piece

The Mildura Writers Festival comprised  a full program on Saturday before a  Finale Lunch on Sunday