The workshop took place over two days. On the first day, we started with quick introductions of the editors and participants, where we had the opportunity to learn about the research topics of our colleagues, with whom we would work during the two days. In the afternoon, two information session panels were held. These sessions were dedicated to the editors to speak more broadly about the submission and review process in the journals, followed by Q&A. It is worth mentioning the coffee breaks were truly transnational, because we had long conversations with colleagues and editors in a more informal way about our research, in different languages. There, even though we were in an ambiance of multiple nationalities, it was possible to find ways to communicate and to create a collaborative and generous community.
During the morning of the second day, we worked on the actual papers, which were shared with the group previously. We formed five small groups with 4 or 5 papers. In each group, we received constructive feedback from two or three editors, plus helpful comments from our Early Career Scholar colleagues, for thirty minutes. We also read the other papers, offering our comments, taking the place of reviewers. An opportunity to exercise collaborative reviewing of colleagues' papers. At the end of the second day of two intense days of work, we had a final session with the whole group for reflections, feedback and closing.
Since the conclusion of the workshop, I have kept in touch with colleagues from Brazil, Latin America, and other countries. We continue to communicate online, exchange references, and help each other with information about interesting opportunities and writing collaborations. For example, in April 2023 I presented my PhD research in the Abortion at the borderlines
conference, co-organized by one of the workshop participants. I often exchange references with another colleague in Mexico. Also, I frequently exchange with a Brazilian colleague who works in the US, just to name a few among the many in the rich network that we have built using this opportunity. After the workshop, I also engaged in LAB Escritas
, a writing community in my home department that has recently been growing stronger. In this space, I was able to share with colleagues about questions discussed in the workshop held in Cholula. I am still working on the manuscript I sent to the workshop, to be submitted to a journal soon.
In conclusion, based on this experience and its outcomes, I suggest that writing as a collaborative practice is a powerful tool. It is important to have colleagues who show interest in your research and take the time to read and comment on what you have written. The support for early career scholars, especially those doing research in the global South is a recognition of your research, and it demonstrates the relevance of the research we are developing in our countries.
Making space and encouraging the participation of early career researchers in experiences such as the writing workshop held at ESOCITE/4S in Cholula is also a way to transform inequalities into publications in prestigious STS journals. Strengthening the possibility for writing also makes it possible to engage plural voices, experiences, and knowledge production from different parts of the world, which is essential to enrich STS as a theoretical field.
Mariana Pitta Lima holds a PhD in Public Health from the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil. She is currently collaborating on an interdisciplinary project on Digital Health at the same University. She is one of the Assistant Editors in the Backchannels Global South team.