11.15.2013

Masterpiece: An Italian TV Reality Show for Aspiring Writers

Masterpiece Facebook Page (Screenshot Nov 15, 2013)
This Sunday, 17 November 2013, could mark a watershed for writers living in Italy. This is a country where more and more books are published and fewer and fewer people read. A book that sells 10,000 copies is considered a best seller. 

Somebody who's not afraid to pull writers out of their ivory towers, has decided to throw them together in a reality TV show on State Television, Rai 3. Massimo Coppola is the show's host, three best-selling novelists form the jury, here they are:


And here's a video with the contestants breathlessly lining up, hoping to be selected. Fully 5,000 of them turned up but only 70 were selected to compete against each other down to the last drop of... ink!


The winner will get his book published by Bompiani, a major Italian publishing house. A first print run of 100,000 copies is optimistically planned, no doubt counting on the visibility provided by Reality TV. 

Who knows, it could very well prove to be a good bet. If it succeeds in reviving interest in books, more shows are planned to follow and go abroad, and maybe cross the Atlantic. The New York Times has already taken note (see article below).

Those of you who speak Italian, make sure you don't miss the show, it starts on Sunday on Rai 3, in the second part of the evening program. I know I will watch it, I'm truly intrigued to see how writers who are notoriously solitary and shy will manage under the glare of TV lights!
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