All Holly Holland wanted when she entered a national contest was a certificate. Instead, she'll get her own TV show.
The third-grader from Canadian read about the contest in TV Guide. It sought children's ideas for an episode of the animated PBS series "Arthur." The grand prize: The winner's story is transformed into an episode of the show.
"I thought I wouldn't win, so what happened was I thought participating would be fun because you get a certificate," the 8-year-old said. "So I wrote the story about that."
Holly's story involved Arthur the aardvark's entering a contest about his favorite cartoon character. He becomes caught up with winning but learns that the fun of participating is more important than prizes.
Holly's winning idea, chosen from more than 10,300 entries, is on the drawing board, said Judy Matthews, senior publicist for the Emmy-winning children's show. It will air in 1999 .
Holly loves to read and wants to be a writer when she grows up. The series of Arthur books by Marc Brown is one of her favorites. The straight-A student said she looks forward to seeing her episode of the show.
"I would just love to see what I did," she said. "I think it will be cool to see because I created it."
Holly said the experience has been fun. She was featured in TV Guide and received many "Arthur" prizes.
Holly said she almost was disqualified from the contest because her mother forgot to sign a release form. After a call from TV Guide, they faxed in the form and found out she was the winner.
"I was really excited because I've never won a contest before. And so I was really happy, and as soon as I got home I started dancing around the house," Holly said.
Matthews said the competition was tough, and Holly's entry was picked because of its originality, creativity and spirit.
Spirited is a word Holly's mother, Cookie, might use to describe her daughter. She said Holly is a positive person who recently won "best attitude" at basketball camp.
"I told her that's the most important one," she said. "We're just really proud of her.... She's just a really conscientious person."Archive ID: 727976