Why Tolkien Wasn't Given Nobel Prize: Bad Writing Jury member was not impressed with storytelling By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Jan 6, 2012 8:58 AM CST 19 comments Comments A 1967 photo of JRR Tolkien. (AP Photo) (Newser) – His novels became classics, but back in 1961, JRR Tolkien's work wasn't good enough for the Nobel Prize committee. The Lord of the Rings author was nominated that year by fellow fantasy author CS Lewis, but the committee rejected him because his writing wasn't good enough, the Telegraph reports. In documents released half a century later, one jury member says Tolkien's work "has not in any way measured up to storytelling of the highest quality." Also rejected that year: Robert Frost (too old) and EM Forster ("a shadow of his former self.").