Why did I stop? I'd like to know, too! I guess it's been a combination of lessened time to write, other projects piling up, loss of inspiration, and (and this is the only one that isn't personal to me) the fact that HOES is less interesting when there are only a couple of competitors.
So, what would I change, and what would I keep the same?
* Keep the word limit the same. Maybe have it doubled for the final contest of the year, but the scale of the stories is just right.
* Similarly, I don't think the format should be drastically changed. I do think more people from different parts of the forum should be encouraged to vote, somehow. But that's a matter of promotion.
* Alternatively, you could have HOES replaced by a rotating fiction contest. Something like:
January, July - Poetry contest
February, May, August, November - 1K-word story contest a la current HOES
March & April - Heresy Online annual anthology of original fiction
June, December - Themed 2K-word story contest. That is, instead of an abstract noun, have the prompt be "Ultramarines" or "Renegades universe" or "The Sundering".
September & October - Heresy Online Fiction Competition
I have a lot of doubts about such an approach, but it's something to consider.
* If the way prompts are selected is an issue, you could have a poll at the start of the year, and choose the top 12. That might also be interesting in itself.
* Add some sort of competition with other sites?
* But no matter what, the foundation of HOES is competition. Friendly competition, of course, and everyone should be offering advice on others' stories (including me....), but it's still a contest (the rest of the Original Works forum is for isolation and cooperation). That, above all, should be kept in mind while proposing sweeping changes.