Fly Ranch: Applications Open for Women Writers of Color Expedition

Fly Ranch and the Burning Man Project, with the support and vision of Yodassa Williams and an advisory committee, are excited to be hosting our first writing expedition for women of color and non-binary persons of color this October 3 – 6 at Fly Ranch.

More details will be forthcoming for accepted participants, but for now please carefully read and complete the application by July 14. You can also read more about the expedition’s genesis here.


Top photo by George Post

About the author: Yodassa Williams

Yodassa Williams

A powerful conjurer of black girl magic (70% Jedi, 30% Sith), Yodassa Williams is a Jamaican American queer writer, entrepreneur and award-winning performing storyteller. She is currently writing a memoir of the emotionally transformational adventures of five consecutive Burning Man expeditions and working with the Burning Man Organization to increase inclusivity. Yodassa is an alumna of the VONA/Voices Travel Writing program and the Fortify Writer’s Retreat. She has a storytelling podcast, "The Black Girl Magic Files", and teaches storytelling craft to young women through the nonprofit Girl’s Inc.

27 Comments on “Fly Ranch: Applications Open for Women Writers of Color Expedition

  • Yolanda says:

    This sounds great! I’m a transgender woman of color. Would I be welcomed? I can’t wait!

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    • Fly Ranch says:

      Please apply! Thank you for your interest.

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      • Yolanda says:

        I used to be a white man and I still have a penis. And I don’t have sex with men. I’m actually a lesbian trans-racial trans-sexual. In my mind I was born a black lesbian. I’m a welder by trade but I dream of being a writer or an actress/singer.

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  • Janna Wong says:

    Is it wrong to discriminate based on race? “Black People Only”… sounds offensive to me as a POC who is not black. It’s also sexist: “Women Only”.

    Radical Inclusion. Read about it.

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  • Endria says:

    Thank you for this important offering, Yodassa. Hell yeah for radically inclusive spaces like this. (And if folks are unsure why this is a radically inclusive spaces, please take some time and Google “importance of affinity groups”).

    Hopefully the burning man community will do much more in the future to address the pretty hateful culture that’s being represented in some of the above comments.

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    • Writers Emerging says:

      Thank you for truly getting it, Endria. I hope you have a truly beautiful week.

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    • Tina says:

      Yeah, like when are Burners going to get some black friends? BM is so white that it makes me want to puke. That is racism. Every Burner has their so-called black friend, but when it comes time to go to the event, somehow those people get left behind.

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      • left behind vs. choose not to go says:

        Everyone is free to take their chance at getting a ticket and attend the event. No-one is excluded. If you don’t see people of color on the playa it is because they choose not to go. The more people of color who show up, the more diverse the event becomes.

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      • Jasmine says:

        Like Larry Harvey said, “Black people don’t like to camp.”

        But why? Because of the color of their skin?

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  • Julia Rose says:

    This sounds like a great retreat! I’ll share word with folks who might be interested.

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  • WTF? says:

    Radical inclusivity but for non binary women of color only.

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  • Dusty says:

    I seem to be late to this party, and expect this to be a wildly unpopular comment, but I’m going to make it anyway. It’s complex and nuanced, so don’t get riled up til you read the whole thing. While I “get” where this is coming from, it feels bad to me. Larry is barely gone, and already we are sliding down the slippery slope of Division. There’s a reason Larry put “Radical Inclusion” at the top of the 10P.
    I’m pretty much a libertarian/anarchist old-skool burner, so I totally believe in everyones’ right to Free Association (only associating with people you want to be with.) It’s a basic human right, so I’m thrilled to think there are women writers of color hanging out w/ each other and writing kick-ass stuff that resonates with their particular audience. But somehow, grafting that onto Fly Ranch, where the mission is to embrace the entire 10P, just isn’t sitting well with me.
    It would be different, somehow, if there was some existing group of women writers who proposed an event at Fly, and there were so many of them that they took up all the available camping resources, so no guys could squeeze in that weekend. That would just be the breaks of the game. But actively advertising an event that purposely excludes most of the existing community is weird. As writers know, language is a powerful tool. The way you talk about things, has the power to make something feel right— or wrong. But the line between a tool and a weapon is your intent. Right now, the intent is being presented as exclusion. And characterizing this exclusion as “inclusion”, is literally Orwellian doublespeak.
    Some might say, “Well what about those Fly Ranch gatherings that are reserved for… photographers? Or solar energy enthusiasts?” Totally different. Anyone can say they are a photographer; the only limit is space and resources at the camp site. But I suspect that a white guy will not be able to say they identify as a woman-or-gender-confused-person-of-color and be invited to this particular campfire.
    There are a lot of things going on in the Default World right now that clash very strongly with Burning Culture. So, I call on the Fly Ranch steering group to work on policy in this area, that does not feel like an affront to Radical Inclusion. I think the communications people should think about this too. It’s likely to be a lengthy discussion. In the mean time, I wish the ladies a successful retreat.

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    • Martine says:

      The fact that you feel like your voice is so important that you decided to use this space to voice it in a lengthy and ignorant dissertation is the whole reason why a space for POC voices is needed. Too often their voices are drowned out or white voices take up all the allotted time and they are left with nothing. Have you ever noticed or cared enough to ask why BM has few minorities? Have you made an effort to include them? No? Then you have nothing you need to elaborate on. We are allowed to make a safe space for ourselves to breath and speak, uninterrupted. How interesting you care so much about everyone being separated when it’s you who feels left out. In truth, it never bothered you before when the tables were turned. You don’t get access to every space just because that is all you are accustomed too.

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  • me too says:

    this seens great and but aren’t all women of some colour? Is white a colour? Why leave out white women? Why not include all women?
    Why the racism against white women?
    WHY ARE THEY THE ONLY ONES LEFT OUT!!!!

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    • Willow says:

      Since you are saying “they”, I assume you are not one of “us”, so you may want to step back on this.

      As a cis white woman I have absolutely no qualms about this and other events that enrich and empower folx that are under-represented in our community. I can’t wait to read the resulting stories.

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  • Joshua Martelli says:

    Speaking for the white men in the room that DO understand the goal of encouraging and fostering gender and racial diversity and overcoming our past and present racial imbalances – this is awesome.

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  • Dimples says:

    There is a reason to open up some spaces to marginalized groups only. Think about it people. Marginalized groups are discriminated against daily, left out of all the things, and harassed, assaulted, and killed all-the-time just for existing. Fired from jobs, kept out of equal opportunities for housing, work, funding, loans, grants, spaces that welcome everyone else except marginalized groups. It’s bullshit if you’re white and not in a marginalized group to complain about this and claim that you’re being discriminated against here. The same complaints about ‘discrimination’ that’s said here by the privileged have been said a bajillion times by men who couldn’t have all access to women’s funding, and to all white and/or straight people complaining about funding and opportunities for POC and the LGBTQ community. We need to help each other up. Stop trying to hold people down for your own benefit.

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  • Zeke says:

    Have you completed the selection process and contacted the people accepted into the workshop?

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