Relevant Updates, Writing, Young Adult Life

How the Ydubs Conference Went

They announced the ‘22 Conference sometime around Christmas, and I knew I wanted to go. I talked with my parents and signed up that February.

Greetings! I hope you’ve been enjoying August! I have.

In fact, At the beginning of the month, God blessed me with the opportunity to go somewhere amazing—the 2022 YDubs Conference! Their first was in 2019, and then the Corona Virus kept them from hosting any later in-person ones, but I can’t remember if they had one virtual conference, and for which year, or two.

They announced the ‘22 Conference sometime around Christmas, and I knew I wanted to go. I talked with my parents and signed up that February.

Really, this is one of those many blessings I don’t deserve but get anyway. Today I’m going to share with you some daily progressions, highlights, and thoughts.

The Speakers

We had six amazing speakers (and a Q&A with another), three of which were published, but all were definitely qualified. The five in order:

Chuck Black, author of nationally popular series such as the Kingdom Series and the Wars of the Realm Trilogy. He was supposed to be there in person, but I guess things didn’t work out, and he spoke virtually. He spoke about worldbuilding.

Juliet Artman, member of the Author Conservatory. She spoke on loving your writing journey (?).

Kellyn Roth, member of the Author Conservatory and author of the Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, among others. She spoke on outlining (?).

Jenna Terese, author of Ignite! She shared thoughts on different aspects of writing, mostly trusting God, through sharing her writing testimony/journey.

Josiah DeGraaf, one of our very own Ydubs Instructors!! He spoke on story structure.

The Author Conservatory hosted a virtual Q&A with Christopher Paolini, author of the internationally bestselling book Eragon! Brett Harris was leading it and we got the chance to see the whole thing!

Charis Rae, member of the Author Conservatory, gave a convicting speech on writing habits.

Mr. Josiah spoke again, this time about fitting writing into your school schedule—or rather, fitting your school schedule around your writing. 😛

Day-to-Day Progressions

Pre-Conference Day. Earlier in the day when my dad and I began toward Tennessee, I had run my second half-marathon ever and he had preached, so we were both tired and got a late start.

Thankfully, the couple that hosted us that night was very generous and waited until around 12:30 am—when we arrived.

Day One. We started sometime during 9 am, I think. We ended up arriving just a few minutes before 3 pm, when the conference was to start (or at least, when sign-up was opened). Most people were there already, because of the short parental meeting, but that was alright.

I met some awesome friends from Ydubs! That was cool. We had a brainstorming session, which went kinda well, then Chuck Black spoke.

I wandered a lot with my dad, going down a stream path, which was fun.

Most of the evening was me wandering around by myself—I enjoyed that, though, and got to know the site a little better.

Day Two.

Ms. Artman and Ms. Roth spoke that day! It was a full day, and I spent a lot of my free time talking and hanging around in “awkward groups,” as we called ourselves.

I purchased some soup that the emcee and Ydubs Instructor Ms. Marita Wilson and others prepared, and had some fun, awkward conversations with friends!

The day concluded with Ceili dancing (an Irish dance Ms. Marita taught), which was better than I thought! I don’t like dancing, but it was alright. Despite me stepping on quite a few heels, I had some fun.

This was probably my favorite day!

Day Three. Mr. Josiah, Ms. Terese, Ms. Rae, and Christopher Paolini (via a Q&A) all spoke that day. *taps temple* I learned some really good stuff from them.

We also had a critique group session, and I got to give and receive thoughtful feedback. That helped a lot to get me out of my WIP’s writer’s block.

Day Four. *shakes head* Alas, all good times come to an end, and this was true of the conference as well. Mr. Josiah gave a wonderfully practical lesson, then we took a group picture, and most people went to eat lunch (that Ms. Marita prepared) in the cafeteria.

The “goodbyes” were a little awkward for me, but eventually, my dad and I were on the road again.


Now, I had a great time and learned indispensable lessons, but you may (or may not *shrugs*) be thinking, “is it worth the hassle of paying, getting there, and all that?” Er, well, I didn’t actually do any of the driving or paying (maybe next year?? Permit and job, here I come), but I believe a conference is invaluable for a serious writer!

Why Attend a Conference?

A couple years ago, my comfort zone was so much smaller. For the past year +, I’ve been trying hard to grow my horizon. Some ways of growth have been socializing more with adults and strangers (not in a creepy way), teaching kids the Gospel throughout the summer, speaking at church, speaking more boldly about my authorship plans, and taking a Speech Class.

Engaging with people in person and public speaking are super helpful skills for authors. Many writers (a whole lot of us are introverts) like to stay in our comfortable corners while we write our wild fantasies, engage on a blog with readers worldwide, and publish our writing whenever we get the chance.

But we can’t hide forever. Sure, the online world is big, but you’ll end up one lonely fellow, because you can’t (or, rather, shouldn’t) have your phone on you every time you step out of your door.

I know writers who are hardcore introverts. However, one of those writers in particular left their comfort corner and met new people for book signing events and other gatherings. This friend says that, though the experiences were extremely mentally draining and stirred up anxiety, they were worth it.

With conferences, you not only meet in person like-minded writer friends who you previously knew only by their online avatar, but you can meet published authors, hear inspiring lectures, and practice social skills.


The Ydubs Conference 2022 was amazing; I would share photos, but I don’t actually have any. 😛 I’m so thankful for the organizers and speakers who put in all that work! I can’t wait for next year.

13 thoughts on “How the Ydubs Conference Went”

  1. Nooo how dare you write this post?? I already heard all about the conference from Liesl and I really wished I could have been there, and now you’ve written this post and made me wish I was there again! Agh!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ack! I totally want to go next year, I didn’t find out about it till like a month before the conference and then my parents couldn’t take off work…and they totally don’t understand why I want to go, because my parent sare more introverted than me…lol…but am totally gonna be on the look out for next year! I really, really wanted to go this year!

    Liked by 1 person

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