Last week, I embarked on an amazing, and slightly terrifying, adventure.

The 2023 Ydubs conference.

It was a week filled with people, busy schedules, and a lot of writing time.

All a writers nightmare. Just kidding…except for the first;)

And so today I’d like to share a little bit about that fun, blessed, amazing week

Let me start by saying, meeting so many amazing authors, ydubbers, and supportive siblings was amazing. Like, a year ago I never could Have guessed I would meet the amazing amazing and absolutely amazing Miss Marita let alone one of my favourite authors, Kara Swanson.

And the Ydubbers, y’all. I didn’t think I’d make any friends but I walked away with awesome memories and a whole bunch of people I can’t wait to see next year.

This is a group of us around five in the morning…after pulling an all nighter. The only thing I’m going to say about it is that it was totally worth it. If you want the whole story, you’ll have to subscribe to my newsletter;)

Now y’all are probably wondering, “Tasha, I thought this was a writing conference. Did you just talk to people the whole time or did you actually learn something.”

Oh boy. You bet I learned something. Well, a lot of things. Everything from how to write with grief to how to write a standout novel. Each an every session brought something to the table and was very encouraging and informative no matter how much experience the speaker had.

Piper’s amazing session on Writing Through Hardship

I’ve been asked frequently what my favourite session was, and that’s a really hard question because I loved and enjoyed all of them but if I had to choose three top sessions it would probably be Piper Shepherds session on Navigating Writing Through Hardship, Kara Swanson’s on The Five Elements of a Standout Novel, and Bryan Davis’ on Indie vs Traditional Publishing. That being said, I loved and enjoyed each and every session these are just the three that seemed most applicable to my writing and I took the most away from.

Other than sessions, we spent time playing games such as Yes Sir, Me Sir and Death Winker, singing together as a group, going on dangerous hikes to a waterfall, and just chilling as friends to talk or write.

And you guessed it, this is leading to stories 😁

How to choose, how to choose. Okay, we’ll start with the waterfall.

It’s pretty, right? Well, how pretty would it feel if when you get back you’re told one of the girls who went on the same trail as you came back with hundreds of mites all over her? *shudders* My skin was crawling. All I wanted was a nice hike (Well, a very tiring hike especially since we had to speed run it to get back for the next session) but then all you can think about it, “What if I have just a few mites and didn’t notice them?”

Lets just say I didn’t venture to the waterfall again. Though, that had more to do with me not having time rather than me being afraid of mites xP.

My second favourite memory of the whole trip was playing Death Winker. Guys, if you want a way to make friends, play this game. The level of alliances and betrayals gives you no choice but to talk to at least a couple people.

While all the games were fun, there are two that were beyond compare and I’ll tell you the stories;)

The last game we played the second night lasted a LONG TIME. A lot of people were dead but there were still about eight of us left. And three death winkers in our midsts.

This guy Truth and I were sure we’d figured out who the death winners were so we figured out a plan to trap them, but then realized we needed a third person so they wouldn’t put the suspicion on me, the person watching to see who killed Truth. So we brought in another guy, Noah, because we figured after him and I having a five minute staring contest without him killing me, he was safe. But then we realized that since there were three winkers left we needed a fourth person to keep suspicion away from us so Noah told yet another person, Justin, to join us. 

But we still couldn’t figure out who the killers were. 

Until they told us to break into groups of two and Justin and I walked past Noah. And Noah winked at me. Believe me when I say I’ve never felt so betrayed in my life. And I was told it showed on my face. 

I mean, I trusted this guy for half an hour and now he killed me xP. Like the nerve. Well, sadly to say the Death Winkers won, but that’s okay because the game itself…amazingly amazing! I didn’t know that much planning and strategy could go into that kind of game but it did. And it created an amazing game.

Mass murder in the elevator…some of them deserved it after the night before;)

As for the second amazing game…

It was the last game we played (I think). Stakes were high. No one was to be trusted. My friend was chasing me and I was sure she was the death winker until we turned the corner and I saw Noah wink at her.

Now if you know me you’ll know I hate dying right away but I also LOVE betraying my side. And it just so happens that I really really really wanted to die in the elevator, which Noah knew.

So I made a deal with him. “You kill me in the elevator and I’ll provide an alibi for you.”

And of course he agreed. So thus began my traitorous activity.

I expected it to last a couple deaths but there wasn’t a way to safely kill me without people figuring out who the killer was. And, if I’m being completely honest, helping the enemy was wayyy more fun then dying in the elevator.

So I continued working for them. Providing alibis and voting off whoever they told me to.

The amazing thing was, no one suspected us anymore than anyone else. I mean, how could they. Everything I said was very solid and no one could find a fault with it.

In the end I got my elevator death, made the enemy win, and ensured no one would trust me ever again 👌.

So, moral of the story is, if you ever need a backstabbing companion…I’m the one to go to! I mean, I won the game for the opposing side (A fact that they admit to…)


This post is already getting a bit long so I’m going to stop here. If you want to know more about the conference or see more pictures, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter as I’ll be sure to share some more personal experiences!

And if you have any questions you want to ask about the conference, drop them below and I’ll try answer or if I get enough, I may make another post out of them!

P.S. If you’re brave, look up Trypophobia but be warned it may make you feel sick so don’t blame me;)


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