Contestants are chosen on the basis of excerpts from their writing and then thrown into simulated situations. In the first episode, two contestants were sent to a refugee home run by a Rambo type and the other two went to a disco for senior citizens. (I am not making this up, I swear!) The contestants are then given 30 minutes to write about their experience. At the end of the show, the two remaining contestants have 59 seconds to make an "elevator pitch" for their book.
I guess it could be worse. It could have Simon Cowell as a judge.
If you'd like to read about this "masterpiece" of a show, please see http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/14/arts/television/masterpiece-an-italian-reality-show-for-writers.html?_r=0