JRR Tolkien, whose Lord of the Rings trilogy was published in 1954 and 1955, was passed over for the 1961 Nobel literature prize after his books were described as second rate.
Newly released documents, declassified after 50 years, show that the late writer was nominated by fellow author CS Lewis.
The result has not in any way measured up to storytelling of the highest quality, the BBC quoted the Nobel prize jury as saying.
Ivo Andric, Yugoslav writer, won for the epic force with which he has traced themes and depicted human destinies.
Andreas Ekstrom, a journalist who studied the documents this week, reported his findings in Swedish newspaper Sydsvenska Dagbladet.
They feature an original list of about 50 writers put forward for the award by academics, exerts and previous winners complete with commentary from the prize jury.
Notes relating to the final decision are never released.
The papers also show that British writer Graham Greene, who never won the Nobel, was the jurys runner-up, followed by Karen Blixen, the Danish writer of Out of Africa.