James Muench

Freelance Writer and Instructor

Jim Muench, MA '88

Degree(s): MA '88

Whereabouts: United States, Columbia, Missouri

What do you do?
I am an author, free-lance writer and instructor. I teach journalism at Mizzou and English at Columbia College and Lincoln University.

How did you get your job?
Each one is different. The writing developed over many years of experience.

What is the best professional lesson you learned at the J-School?
Professional quality writing demands hard work, but it is the basis for all journalism.

What advice do you have for current students?
Decide to be a professional, and do what it takes to get there.

What is your favorite J-School memory?
Working on the politics beat with classmates Marie Tessier, Ted Farnen and Larry Lee and covering the senate election between Kit Bond and Harriet Woods. I had no clue what I was doing. Luckily, the other beat members were superstars, so we didn’t look like complete fools.

Any additional comments?
My first novel, “The Teutonic Cross,” was published this month by Silver Tongue Press of Milwaukee. The historical mystery tells the story of Heinrich Kueter, a young history professor of German ancestry, who solves the murder of a foreign student in a small Missouri college town on the eve of World War I. While doing so, he combats racism and corruption and woos a local suffragette.

Updated: August 12, 2013