It's a twist on Lucha Libre, Mexico’s version of pro wrestling, where competitors put on masks and pseudonyms to duke it out in a ring.
Peru's Lucha Libro is kind of like that, without the violence. It's literary "wrestling." New writers don masks, and head onto a stage where they’re given three random words, a laptop hooked up to a gigantic screen, and five minutes to write a short story.
At the end of a match, the losing writer has to take off his or her mask. The winner goes on to the next round, a week later. And the grand prize? It's a book contract.
I generally don't think that readings need a whole extra layer of artifice to make them exciting. And I'm not a big fan of the Literary Deathmatch series, which asks writers to demean themselves for the sake of "humor." But I do enjoy reading things that are written under some sort of constraint. I don't hate the idea of an instant writing competition. And I think this could be a good way for young writers to make a name for themselves. Does anybody want to start Seattle's first Lucha Libro competition?