JK Rowling's alter ego Robert Galbraith in running for crime writing prize

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JK Rowling's alter ego Robert Galbraith will be pitted against debut novelists and stalwarts of the genre for a crime writing prize.

Harry Potter author Rowling, who writes crime novels under the male pseudonym, is featured on the long list for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year.

JK Rowling during the opening of The Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic at Edinburgh University.
JK Rowling (Andrew Milligan)

Galbraith's Career Of Evil will compete against former TV documentary maker Renee Knight's debut Disclaimer.

Also in the running are Lisa McInerney's debut The Glorious Heresies, Ruth Ware's first thriller In a Dark Dark Wood, Statis Child by David Young and I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh.

Lisa McInerney with the jacket of her book, The Glorious Heresies
Lisa McInerney with the jacket of her book, The Glorious Heresies (PA)

The debuts will be pitted against other famous names including Mark Billingham, Ann Cleeves and Val McDermid.

Billingham is nominated for his 13th offering in the Tom Thorne series, Time Of Death.

Mark Billingham and his wife Claire attending the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2014
Mark Billingham and his wife Claire (Ian West/PA)

Cleeves received a nod for The Moth Catcher, featuring her famous detective Vera Stanhope, while McDermid is nominated for Splinter The Silence.

The long list, which comprises 18 titles, was selected by an academy of crime writing authors, agents, editors, reviewers, members of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Programming Committee and representatives from T&R Theakston Ltd and WHSmith.

It also features Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty, Black Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin, Tell No Tales by Eva Dolan, The Ghost Fields by Elly Griffiths, The Missing And The Dead by Stuart MacBride, Every Night I Dream Of Hell by Malcolm Mackay, The Nightmare Place by Steve Mosby, The Final Silence by Stuart Neville and Death Is A Welcome Guest by Louise Welsh.

Author Louise Welsh with her Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Napier University
Louise Welsh (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The shortlist of six titles will be announced on May 31 and the overall winner will be decided by the panel of judges and a public vote.

The winner will be announced at an award ceremony on July 21 on the opening night of the 14th Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate.