Readers Not Wanted: Student Writers Fight to Keep Their Work Off the Web

Mark Brazaitis worries that his university may sabotage the literary careers of his students.

As director of the creative-writing program at West Virginia University, Mr. Brazaitis oversees the training of about 30 graduate students, who hope to become published authors. At the end of their three years in the program, they hand in their magnum opuses, master's theses that could one day appear in print in literary journals or books.

For now, creative-writing students can submit