Penguin Random House (PRH) imprint Rider, part of PRH’s Ebury division, is to publish the first book by one of the world’s leading feminists, Brita Fernandez Schmidt, who is executive director of the charity Women for Women International.

Entitled Fears to FierceA Woman’s Guide to Owning her Power, the publisher says: ‘Through a combination of guidance, storytelling and practical tools, [Schmidt’s] rallying call in Fears to Fierce will inspire you to realise your purpose and potential, ignite your ‘fierce’ and create the life you have been dreaming of.”

Ebury Publishing Director Olivia Morris acquired world rights from the eponymous agent Valeria Huerta for publication in January 2021, ahead of International Woman’s Day.  The book will have a foreword from Gillian Anderson and Jennifer Nadel, authors of We: A Manifesto for Women.

Originally from Germany, Schmidt went to school in Venezuela and studied English literature and Portuguese at the University of Essex, followed by a master’s in Women’s Studies at the University of Sussex.  A role in the European Women’s Lobby in Brussels followed, then a stint at the Peru Support Group (raising awareness of human and women’s rights in Peru). In 1998 she joined the welfare charity Womankind Worldwide. She worked her way up to become policy director, looking after 60 humanitarian programmes in 20 countries, and in 2008 she was headhunted to open the UK office of Women for Women International, the charity empowering thousands of female survivors of war through a year-long program.  The charity has worked with women from more than 16 countries, including Iraq, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Sudan.

Morris said: “A leading voice on women’s empowerment Brita walks her talk like no one I’ve ever known. Her belief that ‘inspired women inspire others’ is at the core of Fears to Fierce, a roadmap to unleashing your fierce and owning your power. We’re thrilled to welcome Brita to Rider and can’t wait to share her powerful first book with the world.”

Schmidt said: “When we’re ‘head-heavy’, we can get stuck. Inspiration is felt in the heart and the gut, and the way it feels is fierce. The ‘fierce’ is waiting for you to acknowledge it, to allow it and believe it.

“Writing about what it takes to find meaning, and how that requires you to own your power and [how that] enables you to change the world around you, has been an experience of practising that very process and I knew that when I met Olivia and the team at Rider that there was no better publisher to partner with on this journey. Inspiration is everywhere if we stop to notice it, and when we do everything changes. I hope that Fears to Fierce will do that for the reader.”

No foreign rights have yet been sold on the title.