Homertonian wins £10,000 in recognition of her work to improve diversity in children's publishing

By Laura Kenworthy 2min read

Alumna Tamara Macfarlane (BEd 1993) has been named one of the four winners of the 2022 Cambridge Social Innovation Prize, awarded by Trinity Hall and the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation at the University of Cambridge.

These £10,000 awards are made annually to founder-CEOs of growth stage social enterprises to support their development as leaders. The prize also includes mentoring from experts at Cambridge Judge Business School and support from an expanding community of social innovators at Trinity Hall, which aims to help the winners develop the skills, resources and networks they need to create more impact from their work.

Tamara is a children’s author and the founder and co-owner of Moon Lane, a specialist children’s bookseller established in 2003 to raise equality of access and representation in children’s books and in the publishing industry.

Tamara and her team believe that a lack of diversity in UK publishing leads to a singular dominant voice in our cultural conversation, limiting empathy, understanding, integration and social mobility. They work to address this in order to ensure that every child sees themselves represented.

Moon Lane initiatives include highlighting and celebrating the work of authors and illustrators from under-represented groups, ensuring a route to market for more diverse titles, working closely with schools to drive the conversation about inclusion in children’s books, and creating opportunities for young people from a more diverse range of backgrounds to access careers in bookselling and publishing.

Moon Lane includes four physical bookshops, a school supply and book consultancy, and the delivery of annual literary festivals. 

Tamara said: 

“The Cambridge Social Innovation Award offers a unique opportunity to learn from mentors who are leaders in the social ventures field, while becoming part of a wider network highlighting the many ways in which business can be used for positive and impactful social change. I am delighted and hugely honoured to be chosen as one of the four winners of this award. It could not have happened at a better time both for my own personal leadership development and for Moon Lane.